In 1971 classified ads for employment were still categorized by gender; battered women's shelters did not exist; abortion was illegal; and married women couldn’t open a bank account without their husband’s permission. LEFT ON PEARL is about the movement that changed all that.
LEFT ON PEARL is a feature documentary about a little-known but highly significant event in the history of the women's liberation movement. The 1971 takeover of a Harvard University building was the surprise ending of that year’s International Woman’s Day march. The ensuing ten-day occupation of 888 Memorial Drive by hundreds of women demanding a women’s center and low income housing for the community, embodied within it many of the hopes, triumphs, conflicts and tensions of Second Wave feminism. One of the few such takeovers by women for women, this action proved transformative for the participants, and led directly to the establishment of the longest continually operating Women's Center in the U.S.
Through news articles, television news footage from the time, and extensive interviews with participants and eyewitnesses, (both those supportive of the takeover and those opposed to it), LEFT ON PEARL constructs a riveting and often humorous narrative driven by the voices and experiences people of different sexual orientations, racial, class and ethnic backgrounds, who remember the occupation and its aftermath.