Last week, after a courageous and years-long battle with cancer, feminist filmmaker and activist Audrey Wells passed away at 58 years old.
Wells was a screenwriter for The Hate U Give, in theaters now. The film, an adaptation of an Angie Thomas novel, is about a young black woman who is called to action after she watches police officers unjustly kill her best friend. Discussing such serious issues through her work was no new task for Wells, who always focused on representing characters multi-dimensionally and writing strong female leads. (Wells was perhaps best known for writing and directing the 2003 film Under the Tuscan Sun, which followed a woman intent on rebuilding her own life as she traveled to Italy for solace.)
Wells began her life as Audrey Ann Lederer. Born in San Francisco, California, in 1960, she grew up in a loving home with her parents who sparked her imagination and passion for learning. She received an undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkley, and held jobs in radio before pursuing film; she ultimately obtained a graduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Creative, innovative, unique and progressive are some of the words that were often used to describe her films and Wells herself—but words alone cannot do justice to her work or her passion for social justice. Wells was an outspoken feminist intent on changing culture through her art, and a vocal supporter of feminist organizations. She was known in her field for leveraging a feminist lens in her work and using media to stand up for what she believed in.
Wells is survived by many family members, including her husband and daughter. Instead of flowers and cards, her family has asked that anyone grieving the loss of her life send donations to organizations including the Feminist Majority Foundation, which publishes Ms.
Miranda Martin is a feminist writer and activist and an editorial intern at Ms. She has written for a variety of publications and been published by The Unedit and Project Consent. Miranda recently graduated from University of Wisconsin La Crosse with a major in Interpersonal Communications and a double minor in Creative Writing and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She loves to travel, read, exercise and daydream about the fall of the patriarchy.
The post Rest in Power: Feminist Filmmaker Audrey Wells Brought Women’s Lives to the Big Screen appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.
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