March is here, and you know what that means — it’s Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day is just around the corner!
To usher in this month, we’re sharing our favourite feminist flicks, where you’ll witness extraordinary inspiring women doing amazing things.
From women dubbed ‘human computers’ to a Harvard-educated lawyer with a pink wardrobe, the women in these films will leave you feeling like you can do anything and everything. (And for the record, yes you can.)
Based on the literary classic, this critically-acclaimed coming-of-age film chronicles the lives of the four March sisters, showing them blossoming from girls into women in 1860s Massachusetts during the Civil War.
Though not a sad movie, it is still a real tear-jerker, as you see the sisters’ trials and tribulations and how the power of sisterhood prevails as they grow up and find themselves.
A few actors you’ll recognise in Little Women include Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Meryl Streep, Timothee Chalamet.
Remember the #MeToo movement that brought about change worldwide? This movie tells the story of the two women who started it all.
After receiving a tip, New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey launched an investigation into Harvey Weinstein which led to the unravelling of numerous threats, secrets and non-disclosure agreements that forced these women into silence.
This resulted in numerous men — many in positions of power — being indicted and charged for sexual harassment and assault. The movement started in Hollywood, but made waves globally, giving thousands of women the courage to speak out.
The highly-lauded movie Mad Max: Fury Road is set in a post-apocalyptic world where society has all but collapsed and wars are often fought over scarce natural resources.
In a tribe helmed by tyrant warlord Immortan Joe, his lieutenant Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) escapes with his five wives — one of whom is heavily pregnant with Joe’s child — while Joe’s henchmen are hot on their heels. One-armed Furiosa is a force to be reckoned with, as she searches for her homeland with the others in tow.
This may seem like an unlike contender for the list, but hear us out. Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada is about Andy Sachs, a recent journalism graduate who ends up working as a junior personal assistant for Miranda Priestly, the revered (and highly-feared) editor-in-chief of Runway, a fashion magazine.
Priestly is shrewd and has impressive business acumen, unafraid to get her way. This has also earned her a rep in the fashion world, with people calling her cruel and unfeeling. (There’s even a scene where Sachs says that if Priestly were a man, no one would criticise her managerial style!) In the span of the movie, we see Sachs grow from a wide-eyed newbie to someone who’s confident and competent, expertly meeting the needs of Priestly.
You’ve heard all about the amazing men at NASA who helped get the first astronauts on the moon, but have you heard about the women who played a significant role too?
Hidden Figures tells the previously-untold story of Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson, three female African-American mathematicians employed at NASA during that time. So brilliant they were nicknamed human computers, these women worked to launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning feat that allowed America to win the Space Race.
Despite having been released three decades ago, Joy Luck Club still holds a surprising amount of relevance today. Set in San Francisco, this movie shows the heartwarming relationship between Chinese immigrant mothers with staunchly Eastern attitudes and their Westernised daughters.
The first-generation Chinese-American daughters learn to embrace their lives as third-culture children, accepting their mothers ‘old-school Chinese attitudes while their mothers learn to understand their daughters’ greatly different upbringings.
Prior to 1908, when Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was founded at the historically black Howard University, all sororities — social organisations at colleges and universities — were historically white. The establishment of AKA gave African-American women more power and authority, much needed in the early 20th century when their intersecting identities as minorities and women meant that they severely lacked opportunities.
In a true showcase of sisterhood, the movie shows how AKA sisters became changemakers in the past century, providing healthcare when segregation laws were in place, working on anti-lynching legislature and contributing to desegregation efforts in the military.
AKA members whose stories you can expect to see in the movie include that of NASA’s ‘Hidden Figures’ and Kamala Harris, America’s current trailblazing Vice President.
Based on a true story, Confirmation details the intense battle behind the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill, a former colleague of Thomas, is called to vouch for his character in the workplace.
Now a university law professor, Hill accuses him of sexual harassment and brings up how he used to talk to her about pornography. However, Thomas denies the allegations, and the rest of the movie follows the events that develop as they go before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kerry Washington stars as Anita Hill, while Wendell Pierce appears as Clarence Thomas. Eric Stonestreet and Jennifer Hudson make appearances too.
Although it probably wasn’t the filmmakers’ intention when Legally Blonde was released in 2001, there’s no denying that the protagonist Elle Woods, portrayed by Reese Witherspoon, is nothing short of a feminist icon.
With a banging pink outfit and chihuahua in tow, Woods enrols in Harvard Law School in an attempt to win her ex-boyfriend back. However, he belittles her, claiming that she never would be serious or smart enough for him. Determined to prove herself, Woods works harder than ever before, clinching a coveted internship and making a breakthrough in a high-profile case.
We won’t spoil the ending for you, but let’s just say Woods realised she could do way better than her ex, both relationships- and academics-wise.