'Madame Mars': SF State-produced documentary calls for giant leap for womankind
Film directed by Professor Emerita Jan Millsapps screens at United Nations symposium in Vienna.
In the 1967 made-for-late-night-television movie “Mars Needs Women,” an elderly man scoffs at the idea that females should be part of Martian civilization.
“That’s a gag. It’s a prank!” he exclaims, shaking his head.
This clip illustrates the underrepresentation of women in space and inspired “Madame Mars: Women and the Quest for Worlds Beyond,” a new 32-minute documentary directed by Professor Emerita of Cinema Jan Millsapps, a longtime feminist and space enthusiast. Women comprise about 10 percent of the humans who have flown into space, according to Space.com. Women are also largely under-represented in space science and technology.
“I grew up in the space age,” says Millsapps, who taught at SF State from 1987 to 2015. “I remember Sputnik as a kid. Apollo landed when I was in college, but I didn’t think I would be able to participate. I was sent to art class instead of calculus.”
Millsapps presented “Madame Mars” at the United Nations’ UNISPACE + 50 Symposium on June 18 in Vienna. She plans to screen the documentary on campus and at other Bay Area venues later this year.