Women’s History Month: 10 Films to Watch
March is Women’s History Month which celebrates all women globally for their achievements. Last month was dedicated to raising awareness and advocating for women’s rights and equality. Film has put a literal spotlight on women’s stories and is still making significant advancements in uplifting women storytellers, voices, producers, directors, and more. From fictional stories to documentaries chronicling historically heroic women’s lives, viewing films is a way safely at home to honor women of all ages, sexualities, and socio-economic backgrounds. Even though it is no longer Women’s History Month, it is our responsibility to keep the conversations going. Celebrate the stories of powerful women in incredible roles by streaming these stories:
Hidden Figures (2016) include themes of the intersectionality of race and gender. Three brilliant women at NASA, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, work towards one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of the astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The event turned around the Space Race for the United States. The title, Hidden Figures, derives from a double meaning. It refers to both the silencing of African-American women, while also their mathematical work for NASA during the 1960s.
Roma (2018) follows Cleo, a live-in domestic worker for middle-class families in Mexico City. The film celebrates life in the face of adversity during the ’70s. Cleo helps a couple, Antonio and Sofia, take care of their four children before Antonio steps out on his family to pursue his mistress. Sofia decides to take her children and Cleo on a get-away to ease her grief and grow closer as a family.
The Color Purple (1985) is about the life of Celie, an African American woman living in the South with her father, who separated her from her sister and child. Celie is left to find companionship in any way that she can as a young mother. She struggles to discover her identity and agency and over four decades longs to be reunited with her sister and child in Africa.
Queen of Katwe (2016) is about 10-year-old Phiona and her family living in Katwe in Kampala, Uganda. One day Phiona meets Robert, a missionary who teaches her how to play chess. The film follows Phiona as she becomes a top player under the guidance of Robert and excels in local tournaments and competitions.
Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) observes Cleo, who has two hours until she receives her biopsy results. During this time, she visits several self-consumed friends who are not there for her during this time. She wanders around Paris, self-conscious and anxious until she meets a soldier in the park that gives her perspective. She walks to her appointment with the soldier feeling more prepared for whatever results await her.
Harriet (2019) tells Harriet Tubman’s story, her escape from slavery, and the dangerous missions she took as the conductor of the Underground Railroad. She took trips to escort over 300 slaves to freedom as a historically heroic abolitionist. Harriet then went on to provide instructions to nearly 60 additional fugitives who escaped from the north.
In The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson (2017), filmmakers re-examine transgender legend Marsha P. Johnson’s tragic death. She was found floating in the Hudson river. Although it was formally ruled a suicide, many believe that she was murdered. It chronicles Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Riveras’ prominent activist work during the Gay Liberation movement. This documentary honors Marsha’s legacy and revolutionary life.
Promising Young Woman (2020) introduces Cassie, who lives a secret double life where she rights the wrongs of the past. She works towards receiving justice for her former friend, Nina, who was failed by her school’s legal system. You follow Cassie as she finds ways to hold men who attempt to take advantage of her and Nina accountable for their actions.
RBG (2018) is a documentary of the life and career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was the second woman of the Supreme Court of the United States Associate Justice. Ruth is a champion of Women’s rights and a pop-culture icon.
Diana: In Her Own Words (2017) includes audio recordings of Princess Diana herself discussing her life, the royal family, and her marriage to Prince Charles from a series of secret tapes in 1991. She details her wedding day, tabloid rumors, press, and irrevocably broken marriage in the tapes. In the audio, Diana describes her life as the world’s most famous woman in an intimate and vulnerable way.
These films are a great starting point in inspiring women to achieve their dreams, pursue happiness in their communities, and work beside one another in harmony. Let us here at Bella Beauty NYC know what movie(s) you will begin watching as Women’s History Month this March comes to an end. How will you continue to celebrate women every month? Write us in the comments or connect with us through our social media pages!