A new documentary shows that women in the third phase, or “third fire” of their lives have long been underestimated, and have much to offer society. Directed by independent filmmaker Joni Steele Kimberlin, Get Real! Wise Women Speak includes interviews from 18 notable women over the age of 50, including Buddhist nun Tenzin Palmo, actresses Jane Fonda and Della Reese, author and activist Marianne Williamson, and many more.
“Growing older can be an adventure which bestows the freedom to truly become a Wise Woman,” Kimberlin says. With this documentary I celebrate this remarkable time in a woman’s life and create a counterpoint to the youth-obsessed media that bombards us day after day with superficial and unrealistic images of women.” Kimberlin spent years interviewing women in arts, entertainment, human relations and sciences to see what women’s lives can be like after the age of 50, and what they can offer society.
The film has won awards at numerous film festivals, and the DVD is available for purchase from the film’s website.
The November 2012 Shambhala Sun includes a profile of three wise women — Buddhist teachers Trudy Goodman, Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, and Lama Palden Drolma — who are changing the face of Buddhism and bringing a female perspective to a role that has traditionally been dominated by men. You’ll also find much more about women and gender roles on our Women and Gender Politics in Buddhism Spotlight Page.