"That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul."

Two years ago I fell in love with Alice Hertz Sommer and her story, which won an Oscar last night for best short subject Documentary. (Congratulations to Malcom Clarke and Nick Reed.) As far as I know, the original title of the film was "Alice Dancing Under the Gallows" which was later changed to The Lady in Number 6.

Alice passed away at the age of 110 last week and her story is a poignant and important one. 

In the words of Producer, Nick Reed, “Kids all over the world grow up on superheroes. What we, their parents, must remind them, is that documentaries tell stories about ‘real superheroes.’ Superheroes are based on great people, real people, like Alice Herz Sommer.”

Congratulations to Alice Hertz Sommer on a life beautifully, heroically lived.

“I have lived through many wars and have lost everything many times – including my husband, my mother and my beloved son. Yet, life is beautiful, and I have so much to learn and enjoy. I have no space nor time for pessimism and hate." - Alice Herz-Sommer


This awards season I fell in love with Lupita Nyong'o and while her Oscar speech was perfection, this, on beauty and compassion is important and true and enlightened and I urge everyone to watch. 

"What actually sustains us, what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion. For yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It's what got Patsy in so much trouble with her master but it's also what has kept her story alive to this day... "

Congratulations to Lupita Nyong'o on a voice beautifully, heroically spoken. (There weren't a lot of female heroes in that superhero montage at The Oscars last night but they're everywhere, certainly.)

Which brings me to this... I spent a lot of time today thinking about "heroes" or more specifically, the female heroine. What differentiates her from the male archetype? What makes her the same? I do not want to (ever) suggest a human divide and am as big a fan as men as I am of women but the blatant sexism in Hollywood riles me up. It makes me mental. It is nothing compared to the injustice faced by much of the world but it's an injustice nonetheless and it's frankly, mortifying. (Even the Independent Spirit Awards nominated SIX "best male leads and only FIVE "best female leads"... because... there weren't enough... women... leads? Or..?)

Anyway, this is getting very ranty so I'll stop. However, and before I do, I would love to hear from you guys. What women are inspiring you at the moment? Writers, filmmakers, musicians, engineers, athletes, teachers, neighbors, sisters, strangers...  Let's talk about our lady heroes, want to?


P.S. You can watch The Lady in Number 6 in its entirety here.  It will also be available to screen on Netflix beginning April 1st.