5 Feminist Documentaries all Women Should See

Documentaries are one of my favorite ways to gain information about social and controversial issues affecting the country because they uncover the truth on situations that are often always presented at the surface level. Feminist documentaries in particular tell relevant and important stories about women, and succeed in making them powerful forces in the mainstream. If you want to learn more about injustices many humans face or our political climate and its effect on women, take some time to check out these documentaries.

1. Miss Representation

The portrayal of women in media is the focus of the film. Containing interviews with teen girls and icons such as Nancy Pelosi, Margaret Cho and Gloria Steinem, you get alarming facts about the media industry and its consequences on young women growing up in this media-obsessed world.

2. Dark Girls

This doc tackles the issue of colorism in the United States with dark-skinned black women’s own communities. With interviews including the talented Viola Davis, there’s an eye-opening reality of being black and female in America. The theme of intersectionality is important in this film to understand how skin color can affect one’s self-esteem and opportunities.

3. The Hunting Ground

This riveting documentary takes a look at rape culture in our country (specifically on college campuses) with perspective on both male and female students who reported they were raped and how their situations were seen by their campus’ administration. While many students are featured, the two women, Andrea Pino and Annie Clark of the University of North Carolina are followed as they file a Title IX complaint against the university, and travel around the country raising awareness for their co-founded group called End Rape on Campus.

4. Women Art Revolution

Artists and historians are interviewed in this documentary to discuss the feminist art movement and its rise in the 60s that famously impacted the civil rights movement and anti-war movement women had in art. It also holds an important message about the way freedom of speech affected culture then just as it does now.

5. Girlhood

This film follows two girls who are coming of age in the most violent juvenile detention center. America’s mass incarceration issue of predominantly black men has been a hot topic thanks to the documentary 13th by Ava DuVernay, but this one in particular focuses on young women who are also victims of violence and deal with personal tragedy.

To understand the struggle women go through is a knowledge many don’t take the time to consider. What intersectionality brings to the table is the power to empower others because of womens’ history of dealing with oppression due to our assigned gender and the implied norms we are forced to follow. These five documentaries are worth the time to gain more understanding on feminism.

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