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Flash Movie Trailer: The Janes

SITTING ON THE BENCH FOR THE entire basketball game was not my version of fitness. Nor was it sitting on the sidelines of a football game. My gym classes prior to college were for the most part a series of competitions which I detested. If you were a mediocre or poor player, you suffered. Because football had the most physical contact, I did everything I could to hide instead of playing it. The gym classes for the school semester were made up of a series of sports games. Unless you were picked to play on a team, most of the class period was sitting on the bleachers. I never wanted to participate in any of the sports activities because they were essentially too violent. The gym teacher spent a good amount of time in his office during the class, after throwing out to us a couple of basketballs or footballs; he was never around when the aggressive students would take advantage of the weaker ones. An illegal block, a smack on the back of the head, a strong shove; they were just a few of the tactics used to intimidate the average or less players. There was nothing to gain by me staying in the gym; in fact, every minute I stayed offered a bigger opportunity for me to be attacked or abused. Gym class was detrimental to my health.      IT WAS NOT UNTIL MY COLLEGE years before I began to understand how to achieve and maintain a healthy body. Granted back then, the dominant focus was on the outer physical part of the body. At least, it was a start and I started paying attention to the things around me in class. I noticed the students that solely worked with barbells and weights, could not do much aerobically. In other words, they would tire out quickly during a jog. In the swimming pool, they had little flexibility which caused them to be slow swimmers. My own health plan did not fully solidify during those years; it really took off several years after I graduated, and it was due to a relative’s medical heart scare. It was then that I took health and fitness seriously and started participating in aerobic classes. Seeing that most people attending class looked like they were fit already, an idea formed in my head based on my experiences. I wanted to create a class not only for those who were already fit, but for those who did not feel comfortable doing exercise in a group setting. It was part luck and part determination, but I found my niche and had people attending from all different fitness backgrounds. There was a need that I tapped into and discovered how good it felt to help people reach their health goals. It was that type of similar mindset which I saw in this amazing documentary that resonated with me.      IN CHICAGO, A GROUP OF WOMEN formed a network made up of code names and secret drop off locations to work together and offer a healthier option for women in need. Directed by Tia Lessin (Trouble the Water, Citizen Koch) and first-time director Emma Pildes, I searched for this film due to having seen and reviewed Call Jane with Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver. Discovering Elizabeth’s film was based on a true event spurred me to investigate the topic further and this film was one of the things I found in it. The mix of old footage with the surviving women of the group doing the narrations was the perfect mix to entice viewers. When thinking about that period of time and what women had to go through, I found it more shocking on how the Janes did as much as they did. Also, it was not lost on me how this picture is just as relevant today as it was back then. This engrossing film was a true find that made me feel privileged to have seen it.

3 ½ stars 

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