“‘Realism’ doesn't entirely do justice to the world WANDA inhabits, which, for all the grit and grunge of its bars and diners and factory floors, is also a world of startling everyday beauty.” - Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“If there is a female counterpart to John Cassavetes, Barbara Loden is it.” - Richard Brody, New Yorker

October 2 & 8 | A talented, Tony-winning actress, perhaps best known for her performance in SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS, Loden’s WANDA is a remarkable, verite-style portrait of womanhood. The titular Wanda (played by Loden) is an unhappy housewife who drifts through rural coal mining country after leaving her husband and children. A woman unmoored, Wanda wanders from man to man—a one-night stand, a criminal, a stranger—their abusive and dismissive treatment of her a reflection of the tyranny of misogyny in America. Made at a time when few women were behind the camera, WANDA shook the foundations of independent cinema and unwaveringly presented a flawed female protagonist rarely seen on screen, even more than 50 years later. Though critically lauded—the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, the only film from America that year—WANDA never received distribution and was criminally underseen. Loden turned her creative attention back to the stage and tragically died in 1980.

Awards & Nominations

Winner - Pasinetti Award, Best Foreign Film, Venice Film Festival

One and Done SeriesIn One and Done we consider the work of gifted filmmakers who, for myriad reasons, never directed another feature film again, and invite audiences to appreciate the rarity while imagining what might have been. View full series.

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu