40 years ago: One woman. One man. One hell of a tennis match.

22 January 2014, Melbourne, Australia

battleofthesexes_BJ King

Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, present a community screening of “Battle of the Sexes.”  It screens on 22 January at 7pm in Federation Square’s film palace at ACMI.

This is a timely, now that Billie Jean was named US Olympic Ambassador to Russia’s upcoming games.

Forty Years Ago
Back in 1973, Billie Jean King played Bobby Riggs, a self-proclaimed male chauvinist pig, in the most watched tennis match in history. The prize money was high but the stakes for the future of women’s tennis and gender equality were the real prize.

On learning that her male counterparts were paid greater prize money for matches, King singlehandedly spearheaded a campaign to form the Women’s Tennis Association demanding equal pay for play. As an athlete at the top of her game – one who was also struggling with her sexuality – the personal and professional stakes were enormous at every stage of her campaign.

Incorporating wonderful archival footage alongside interviews with tennis stars past and present, directors James Erskine and Zara Hayes never loses sight of their main subject crafting King’s story with a great deal of verve and suspense.

“The transformative power of sport at its finest, and the passion of one woman determined to help in the fight for a more just society.” – Empire Magazine

“This riveting documentary will have you on the edge of your ringside seat as a civil-rights battle is played out on court.” – The Guardian

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