Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Pre-emptive International Women's Day!

In honor of International Women's Day this Sunday, I decided I'd make a list of some of my favorite feminist movies. Why? Because I love movies and I love women and I love feminism. So without further ado, and in no particular order:

Fried Green Tomatoes - First of all, this movie is hilarious. Second of all, Mormons should love it because it makes genealogy/family history sound like it would actually be fun to do. And it is a great feminist movie too with lots of strong, independent, and smart female characters. It even critiques the kind-of-weird new-agey feminism and focuses on good old-fashioned real women being who they are and not getting pushed around. Plus there's a great racial equality theme too. What's not to love?

The Hours - Just saw this movie recently, and it's beautiful. The music is also spectacular. It's sort of depressing, but sort of not--I can't decide. But it's definitely a feminist film because of the three great performances from Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, and Meryl Streep and how it delves deep into the lives of three women in very different situations but with very similar problems. My favorite plot-line is the 1950's one.

The Passion of Joan of Arc - Wow. I just saw this movie last week at International Cinema at BYU and it floored me. Joan of Arc is the only female in the whole thing (except for some extras in the crowd scenes at the end) but she makes the film. She stands up to a whole slew of jerk men who are desperate to prove that she is delusional for actually having revelations from God. One of my favorite scenes is when she is in her cell and the judges know she is desperate to receive the Eucharist ("take the sacrament" in Mormon-speak). They order the priest to come in, light the candles, get everything ready, bring out the wafer, and then, when you can just see the anticipation on her face, just before putting it to her lips, they tell her she can only have it if she signs a confession saying that her revelations came from the devil. She doesn't. You go, Joan! And the movie is all the more impressive because the whole thing is based on the actual transcripts from Joan of Arc's trial.

The Whale Rider - Wonderful story set in the Maori culture of New Zealand. Archetypical story of struggling with male-dominated traditions that marginalize women just because they're women. But such a great message by the end! I love it!

Bend it Like Beckham - Women playing football (soccer). Title IX, eat your heart out. Fun movie, great music (thanks for the soundtrack, Diana!), and has one of my favorite lines of all time: [old Indian aunt:] "A lesbian? I thought she was a pisces!"

Those are just the ones that I could come up with more or less off the top of my head. Any other suggestions?


  1. Similar to "Bend It Like Beckham" (mille eestikeelne pealkiri "Tribla nagu Beckham" k├Álab minu meelest natuke naljakalt) is "The League of Their Own" where women play baseball while the men were in WWII. I also like "Erin Brockovich".

  2. That is a funny-sounding Estonian name, reminds me of the famous Star Trek episode, The Trouble with Tribbles. And I've never seen A League of Their Own all the way through, only bits and pieces (*braces for Diana to hit him*), but the parts I saw I did like. I'll have to watch it for IWD this month! Ditto for Erin Brockovich. Good recommendations, thanks!

  3. The Ya-Ya Sisterhood!!!!!!! I love it.

  4. Good call, Adeline. It's going on my list.

  5. What about little women?

    i hate jane austin.

    if you want to see how maori culture works out on a different level, try "once were warriors"

    i also hate that movie, but...

  6. Brody - Thanks, I think? haha

  7. There are a lot of feminist films out there except you really have to try and find them. One of my favorites is Stephanie Daley. I guarantee you will like it. If you are interested in being a part of a discussion on women, feminism and pop culture (especially film) please check out my site- Women & Hollywood-

  8. i LOVEEEE fgt. most wonderful movie ever, although "a league of their own" might be slightly higher on my list.

  9. Thelma & Louise, The Long Road Home, Hairspray (which also has the bonus of snappy music...oh i love that movie) and yes, you should watch A League of Their Own Sometime.

    I was reading awhile ago that movies are much more likely to be successful if they have two male leads vs. two female leads (Thelma & Louise being an outlier). That's kind of sad tho!