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Barbie Nation

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The Collectors' Edition has nine additional short films on Barbie -- including Black Barbie, about African-American dolls, and The Handlers at Home, featuring more of the Barbie creator's views on women's issues. The Barbie doll is not just the world's most popular toy, she's a Rorschach test, revealing attitudes about sexuality, body image, gender roles and creativity. Journeying from Barbie conventions to anti-Barbie demonstrations, from girls' play dates to Barbie web pages, Barbie Nation plumbs the cult of the Barbie doll, telling the Barbie stories of men, women and children. At the center of Barbie Nation is the story of Barbie creator and Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler. Handler's ironic rise and fall brings Barbie Nation to a climax that is about the creation of femininity and the marketing -- and subversion -- of femininity's icon.

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License Period:  5 years
Running Time:  53:17
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Running Time:  53:17
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License Period:  21 days (beginning at time of purchase)
Running Time:  53:17
Video Resolution:  Appropriate for small screens only

"A witty, smart and often surprising film. What we thought we knew about Barbie is very different now that Susan Stern has situated her solidly in the history of women as entrepreneurs as well as consumers. This is definitely a film I will show to my next class."
Linda K. Kerber, Professor of History
University of Iowa

"A penetrating analysis of the Barbie image as a cultural icon and sexual dowsing rod. It reveals a surprising number of facets and layers of social gender attitudes and behaviors."
Film/Tape World

"A valuable resource for women's studies programs, sex discrimination classes or libraries."
Stephanie M. Wildman, Professor
University of San Francisco School of Law

"Shrewdly, and with humor, Barbie Nation explores how American pop culture becomes globally shared."
Steven C. Dubin, Director
Media, Society and the Arts Program, Purchase College SUNY

"Barbie: Subversive Icon Extraordinaire? Or Ultimate Tool of the Patriarchy? Susan Stern's documentary goes where few Barbie collectors or detractors have dared to tread together."
Susie Bright
Author, The Sexual State of the Union
Susan Stern Susan Stern is a writer, director and producer. Her most recent film, The Self-Made Man, was nominated for two national Emmy awards. Her first film, Barbie Nation: An Unauthorized Tour, is taught in more than 1,000 universities.

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