You are probably aware of the extreme sexism that exists in the film industry and if you don’t you can educate yourself here by delving into this New York Times’ piece.
Okay, great, now that sexism’s got you down, here are four movies that make my (and hopefully your) feminist heart sing!
1. April and the Extraordinary World
You probably haven’t heard of this movie because it’s French and indie and animated, but let me tell you it is incredible. Not only does it have a kickass scientist heroine (voiced by Marion Cotillard in the original French), it also is chock full of women with real agency and problems and solutions that don’t require men.
The movie tells the story of April, a woman living in an alternate steampunk Paris in the 40s. She’s a scientist looking for “the ultimate serum” while also searching for her lost parents and hanging with her adorable talking cat, Darwin. It’s fast-paced and full of alternate world inventions and even a not-in-your-face environmental message. It’s in select theaters right now! Get your feminism on here.
Okay, so this isn’t a film, it’s a web series, but still, it’s great and wildly feminist. Carmilla is a first person vlog about a queer woman named Laura whose university is suddenly under attack by a lot of mysterious forces and she is determined to figure out what’s going on and save campus from destruction. Also, her roommate is a queer vampire. Also, at least 90% of the characters are queer, but the series isn’t about them being queer. In fact, it barely talks about them being queer because the characters are too busy fighting vampires and evil monsters and it is so very very refreshing. Watch it online for free here.
3. Diary of a Teenage Girl
This movie took me completely by surprise and I LOVED it. The film tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who is constantly and beautifully exploring her sexuality. She loses her virginity to her mom’s boyfriend, begins an affair with him, while sleeping with multiple other people and recording her every thought in her audio diary. It is so refreshing to see a film not only acknowledge but openly explore the sexuality of a young women. Truly beautiful piece of art, you can find it here.
4. Appropriate Behavior
The best part of this movie is the writer/director/main character, Desiree Akhavan. Desiree plays (and is) a Persian bisexual woman dealing with a break up, coming out to her family, and the general difficulties of being a human being and a woman. The film is blunt and unapologetic and gritty and so very real. It’s also super exciting that a queer woman of color had a film premiere at Sundance about issues faced by queer women of color. Akhavan is certainly a director to watch. Appropriate Behavior just got picked up HBOGO so go watch it now please.
Overall these are just four of my favorite feminist movies, but I’m intrigued — do you have any feminist movie favorites? Let us know in the comments!