The Great American Lie (2020)

The Great American Lie examines the roots of systemic inequalities through a unique gender lens. With America facing widening economic inequality and stagnant social mobility, this film takes audiences on an empathy journey, inspiring a path forward.

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom has completed her newest documentary, The Great American Lie. The film, which premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2019, aims to expose social and economic immobility, viewed through the lens of our gendered values.

“We need renewed economic and social mobility in this country,” said Siebel Newsom. “I hope my film will spark a national conversation around how the elevation of stereotypically ‘masculine’ values has led to extreme social and economic immobility and how, if we elevate more ‘feminine’ values such as empathy, care, and community, we can fix some of these systemic inequities.”

We are currently living in one of the greatest periods of social and economic inequality in our nation’s history. Today, the top 0.1% of Americans own as much wealth as the bottom 90%. In 2017 alone, 82% of new wealth created went to the top 1%.

Meanwhile, one in five American children and one in eight American women live in poverty – despite us being one of the wealthiest countries on earth. Increasing inequality has created deep social, economic, and political divides. Clearly the status quo is not working.

The Great American Lie exposes how this inequality is rooted in our beliefs with the cultural pendulum swinging too far towards revering things we consider “masculine,” like individualism, power, and money, at the expense of things we consider “feminine,” like empathy, care, and collaboration.

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“Rigid gender stereotypes are a public health crisis. For girls, gender stereotypes are the root cause of body hatred and shame, eating disorders, depression, low self-esteem, and low leadership ambition. For boys, gender role expectations are the primary driver of depression, risk-taking activities, substance abuse, suicide, and violence.”

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