Women’s History Month is upon us and here at GGA, we are all about highlighting strong and inspirational women. Whether it is a trio of scientists fighting back against the male patriarchy and racism at NASA or a young girl fighting for girl’s educational rights in Pakistan. We love them all and want to share our love for them with you. Over the years, we have seen inspirational women’s stories come to life on the big screen. Stories that moved audiences to tears or inspired them to change their daily habits to protect our planet. We want to share with you eight impactful movies that tell their stories to honor those women.
The 2016 Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures follows three brilliant African-American women – Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). They serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations at NASA and in history, the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit. The film doesn’t sugarcoat the struggles of Johnson, Vaughan or Jackson as they fight against oppression based not only on their gender but also on their skin color. This powerful story is an inspiration to everyone and a must-watch during Women’s History Month.
2018’s documentary RBG paints an intimate portrait of one of our greatest advocates Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The film covers several decades of Ginsburg’s life from her birth in Brooklyn, New York all the way up to her appointment to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton. The documentary shows how Ginsburg went from another political figure to a pop culture icon. It shows us how she defended everything from reproductive rights to pay equity to voting rights. RBG features interviews with Ginsburg, her family and friends, and former colleagues. This is the perfect film to kick-off Women’s History Month!
Betty & Coretta
The 2013 film Betty & Coretta chronicles the lives of Coretta Scott King (Angela Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Mary J. Blige) who developed a friendship after the tragic deaths of their husbands – Dr. Martin Luther King (Malik Yoba) and Malcolm X (Lindsay Owen Pierre). Through Coretta and Betty’s strength and dignity, the two worked together to continue fighting for Civil Rights. This film isn’t just full of female inspiration, but it is also a great educational piece on the Civil Rights Movement. This is a film worth watching all the time – but especially during Women’s History Month.
He Named Me Malala
He Named Me Malala is a 2015 documentary that chronicles the life of the youngest-ever Novel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. It highlights her fight for the rights of girls, most notably, the right to education. Yousafazai recounts how she survived and grown since being hunted down and shot by a Taliban gunman as part of the organization’s violent opposition to girl’s education in Pakistan. The documentary does an amazing job highlighting her career for female rights and shows us the teenage side of Yousafazai. He Named Me Malala is a must-watch for people of all ages during Women’s History Month.
The Diary of Anne Frank
Anne Frank‘s story has inspired so many people over the last decade and will continue to for generations to come. Any of the films or documentaries that have been released over the years are worth watching. They are based on her personal diary, where she chronicles her life while hiding with her family during World War II. It was published after the war ended by her father, Otto Frank. My personal recommendation is the 1959 film The Diary of Anne Frank, an adaptation of the successful Broadway play featuring Millie Perkins as Anne. Everyone should watch this film at least once and perfect for watching during Women’s History Month.
Queen of Katwe
The 2016 biographical drama Queen of Katwe depicts the life of Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), a girl living in Katwe, a slum of Kampala in Uganda. After meeting Robert Katende (David Oyelowo) at a missionary program, she finds her love for chess. She quickly becomes extremely skilled in the game and Katende takes her and her team to compete at a national school level tournament. The film goes into detail about the ups and downs of success while also sharing the struggles of life in Katwe. Mutesi’s heartwarming story is inspirational and a perfect way to celebrate Women’s History Month.
I Am Greta
I Am Greta is a 2020 documentary that captures a powerful snapshot of Greta Thunberg. The film dives into the beginning of her work on climate change and her passion for fighting to make a difference. The film doubles as a look into Thunberg’s life and how she deals with the support and backlash from others on her views, as well as an educational film on climate control. It teaches us that making changes, no matter how small, will have an impact on our future. Thunberg is an inspiration to everyone by never backing down and this film helps open our eyes to those strengths. It is a perfect addition to a movie marathon to celebrate Women’s History Month.
Knock Down The House
Knock Down The House is a 2019 American documentary film revolving around the 2018 congressional primary campaigns of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin. The film follows their respective Democratic grassroots campaigns against longtime officials. Knock Down the House gives viewers a look at these progressive and inspiring women along with a look at the democratic process and women’s role in it. This is an incredible underdog story and inspiring to anyone looking for a look into the political world. We highly suggest checking this out for Women’s History Month!
This article was originally posted on 3/3/21.