Not a Pretty Picture (1976) New 4K Restoration

Martha Coolidge

In 1975 trailblazing director Martha Coolidge (Valley Girl, Rambling Rose) made her feature film debut with the startling Not a Pretty Picture, a documentary-fiction hybrid that continues to raise provocative questions about sexual violence and the ethics of its on-screen representation. Coolidge based the film’s fictional sections on her rape at the age of sixteen; in the role of her younger self she cast Michele Manenti, also a rape victim. As they interpret Coolidge’s script, cast members reflect on their encounters with assault, their feelings about acting out scenes of intense aggression, their attitudes concerning consent, trauma, and self-blame, and, in the case of Coolidge’s best friend Anne Mundstuk, their ability to play themselves. Realizing documentary’s potential to foster personal catharsis and interpersonal dialogue, Not a Pretty Picture stands as one of the genre’s boldest and most revelatory experiments in meta-cinema. Restored in 2022 from original 16mm elements by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. his film is part of the Women in Film Series taking place March 7th - 10th at Sidewalk Cinema. *Note - This film discusses and depicts sexual assault and sexual violence.

Sidewalk’s Women In Film Week will feature important, innovative and influential films directed or written by women. This celebration of Women in Film will acknowledge the important artistic and technical contributions made by females in the industry. In addition to first run and retrospective film screenings, the week will offer related panels, workshops, networking/social activities – creating space for the entire community, filmmakers and audiences alike.

Take advantage of the Sidewalk Early Bird Special on Thursday afternoon screenings before 5pm. $5 Tickets, free coffee, on-screen captions (when provided by distributors), and reduced theatre capacity.



Martha Coolidge


Martha Coolidge


Martha Coolidge


Michelle Manenti, James Carrington, Martha Coolidge, Reed Birney, John Fedinatz, Diana Gold


Tom Griffith