About Shouting Down Midnight

In 2013, women shared real stories to help Texas State Senator Wendy Davis filibuster in defense of Texas women's access to reproductive healthcare. As the capitol filled to capacity for the first time in its history, and people all over the world tuned in, Sen. Davis read testimony from women strongly opposed to the bill which would effectively force draconian, pre-Roe v. Wade conditions on women again. The bill ultimately passed, but not before Texas women—and the men who love them—made it clear that day that the Texas legislature had gone too far. Forcing debate on the bill provided citizens a view of the process and a role in demanding accountability from their elected representatives. People were activated. Lives were transformed. History was made. Shouting Down Midnight's characters are women whose letters Senator Davis read during the filibuster, Senator Davis herself, and one young activist who chose her fate that day. Since then, director Gretchen Stoeltje followed these women to understand how that day changed their lives, and why the fight for reproductive freedom is more important than ever. [97 min; documentary; English]

A conversation with filmmaker Gretchen Stoeltje and IU professor Brenda Weber (Gender Studies) will follow the screening.

Gretchen Stoeltje walked into a movie theater, fell in love, and never looked back. A native Texan, she made her way West and learned to make films in California, finishing undergraduate and graduate work at UC Santa Cruz. From San Francisco, the heart of Northern California’s independent filmmaking community, she made three films before earning a law degree from Santa Clara University. She has also published several articles addressing issues of law, technology, film, food miles, smart growth and intelligent transportation systems.

Brenda Weber is a Provost Professor of Gender Studies at Indiana University. Her work engages with a wide archive of mostly discredited cultural texts, including non-canonical 19th-century transatlantic women's literature and contemporary media, specifically literature, film, and television. She has a particular interest in how identity is discursively gendered, constructed, and embodied through written and mediated means, as well as how gender, sex, sexuality, race, and class work together to inform notions of the "normative" self.

"Stoeltje observes the challenges of organizing around such a contentious issue with the same care as the triumphs." — Lovia Gyarkye, Hollywood Reporter

"Shouting Down Midnight is relevant, eye-opening, and knows what it wants to be." — Kyle Bain, Film Threat

"Shouting Down Midnight uses Davis’ story as a guiding framework, but the documentary allots significant screentime to advocacy initiatives led by other Texas women who were galvanized by Davis’ stand. The film emphasizes the voices of women of color, trans and nonbinary individuals, undocumented communities, and Texans with limited access to health care or insurance." — Vivie Behrens, The Austin Chronicle

Any film screened at IU Cinema may contain content that viewers find sensitive or upsetting. Visit our Audience Advisories page to learn more.

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