Published 3:55 pm, Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Beatrice Milwe, a longtime Westport resident, documentary filmmaker and activist for civil rights, women's rights and international peace, died May 14. She was 97.
She was the widow of Sidney Milwe, who died in 1992.
She and her husband, Sidney were active in the trade union movement in the 1940s before moving to Westport.
She was a member of the Geneva-based Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and traveled on its behalf. She became president of the group's local chapter. She was among the first women to visit China after President Nixon opened relations with that country in 1974. After a subsequent trip there, she produced her first documentary, a film about the United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Among her other documentaries was "It's Up to Us," a 1986 release that highlighted global issues facing women -- including racism, polygamy and Arab-Israeli peace -- in light of the 1985 United Nations End of the Decade for Women Conference. Several others aired on PBS and ABC and were distributed internationally by Women Make Movies.
She is survived her companion, Bernard "Buddy" Kushner; a son, Jeffrey Milwe of Westport; two daughters, Marjorie Leiberman of Fairfield and Liz Milwe of Westport; seven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Donations in her memory may be sent to Westport Green Village Initiative, c/o Main Street Resources, 120 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06880, or Charter Oak Challenge Foundation, 575 Riverside Ave., Suite 202A, Westport, CT 06880.
A memorial service is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. June 19 at the Unitarian Church in Westport.