As you may already know, March is Women’s History Month. When I think of what Women’s History Month means to me, I think of it as an opportunity to learn about and honor the amazing, impactful women of the past and present. I do believe that by learning from these women, we can become more empowered ourselves. In honor of Women’s History Month, I have compiled a list of historical films about women that are both entertaining and enlightening about women and women’s issues. After viewing these films, you may even feel empowered and inspired to go make a difference too.
- The Keeping Room
While this movie is historical fiction, I think it is an inspiring film about the women of the Civil War. This movie centers around three young women; two sisters and their family’s slave are alone on their property while male family members are fighting in the war. The Keeping Room tells a story of the Civil War from the women’s perspective which is something I have not learned much about. Throughout the film, the three girls show how tough and resourceful women are. The film also focuses on the unique difficulties that abandoned women during wartime faced, such as taking on the typical male roles in day-to-day life.
- Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures tells the story of the brilliant African-American women of NASA who made it possible to send astronaut, John Glenn, into space. This film tackles issues of sexism and racism as the women are discriminated against at NASA for both their sex and the color of their skin. Overall, Hidden Figures is very entertaining while telling an important untold story of our nation’s history.
- She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a documentary film about the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s. This documentary is the very first documentary to recall the events, accomplishments, and the important women involved in the second-wave feminism movement. Throughout the film, commentary from over thirty activists who lived through the events of the time period is featured. Along with the first-hand commentary, they explain eye-opening truths about women’s reality during this time, including the fear of pregnancy, rape, and the lack of vocational freedom women had. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is an essential film to watch if you are looking to learn more about women’s history during March or any time of the year.
- The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson re-examines the death and honors the extraordinary life of transgender legend Marsha P. Johnson. Johnson was a prominent figure in the transgender and gay rights movements in New York City beginning in the 1960s. In 1992, she was found dead in the Hudson River. Despite the fact that her death was ruled a suicide by the police, there has been suspicion surrounding this ruling. Acknowledging transgender women during Women’s History Month is important and learning about such an important transgender woman in history through this documentary is a great way to do so.
- The Color Purple
The Color Purple, adapted from the novel by Alice Walker, is a classic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie, an African-American girl who faces horrible abuse and bigotry. The film follows Celie through the realistic and traumatic abuse that she faces throughout her life. While The Color Purple shows the harsh reality for some women’s lives, specifically African American women, during the early 1900s, it is an inspiring story that also chronicles Celie’s triumphs. This movie opened my eyes to the realities that African-American women have faced. Because of this, The Color Purple also made me more appreciative of the women that have fought for the rights and opportunities we have today.
However you choose to celebrate and honor Women’s History Month, I hope you can take some time to appreciate how far we have come and feel empowered to lead the way for greater change in the future!