Local scholars examine the feminist themes and ideologies in groundbreaking film, 'Barbie'

Margot Robbie stars in the live-action Barbie movie.

Since its theatrical release in July, “Barbie” has been breaking records. It’s the highest-grossing Warner Brothers film of all time and the highest-grossing film directed by a woman ever.

Obviously, a movie this big has people talking, and it’s likely you’ve seen it yourself – it’s available for streaming now. Perhaps the biggest surprise about a movie based on the Barbie brand is that many serious critics consider it a triumphant manifesto of feminism.

In this “City Lights” interview, we invited a panel of film experts to a conversation about “Barbie” and feminism – can Barbie overturn the patriarchy?

Hundreds of “Barbie” cosplayers meet up at Dragon Con 2023. (Eddie Bonneau/eddiebphotos.smugmug.com)

Speaking with “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes are Dr. Michele Schreiber, Emory University Associate Professor and Department of Film and Media Studies Chair; Dr. Maura Ryan Bernales, Georgia State University Senior Principal Lecturer of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Dr. Matthew Bernstein, Emory University Goodrich C. White Professor of Film and Media Studies. 

“The movie does such a great job of turning conversations of conventional femininity on its head so that a figure like Barbie can be looked at as a kind of feminist thing,” Bernales said. 

Stephanie Diaz (2nd from right) and her friends give their thoughts on “Barbie” at Dragon Con 2023. (Jimmy Stapp/photosbystapp.com)

“Barbie” is now streaming online and will be available on Blu-Ray on Oct. 17.