In 1980 Lucy Phenix was asked to edit this classic historical compilation film, and learned the possibility of deepening the logical and emotional movement of a film through the pivotal act of editing.  “Rosie” is that rare glimpse of the Second World War from the female perspective, and a vital document of American history because it looks at the spark that ignited the women's liberation movement nearly thirty years before it 'officially' planted its roots.  As men left the factories to fight, and with the escalating need for America to arm itself, women were encouraged to join the factory workforce. They were self-sufficient and strong, often working double-shifts, and they eventually discovered new freedoms by earning their own incomes and making their own spending choices. Newsreel footage and the popular songs created to encourage and inspire the female workforce, and then ultimately discourage them from working after the war had ended, and how strong a role the media played in encouraging women to raise families and stay in the kitchen.


“The experience of editing Rosie the Riveter taught me that listening to my body could help me make films that would cause a change in the way people FELT.  While editing Rosie, I knew that it wasn’t enough to tell the story of women working in the skilled trades during WWII.  The film experience is shaped so that the audience feels, at the end, the same betrayal as the participants.”

“A friend of mine in Kentucky told me after seeing Rosie, ‘Lucy, you know you’re an artist, don’t you?’  I hadn’t even thought about that before then....


The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter

Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner

National Film Registry, Library of Congress    1996