Films to Watch Out For

While organizing the Women’s Winter Film Series, we kept learning about films that could have been included — if the series went on for a year or so. Here’s a list of some of them, so you can invite a few friends over for a home viewing — or organize a women’s film series in your own home!

Many are available for home viewing at no or low cost through CLAMS (Cape Libraries Automated Materials Sharing), a network connecting Cape & Islands libraries), Kanopy (a live-streaming service available to patrons of most Vineyard libraries), PBSNetflix, or YouTube. Contact info is given for the others. Several are available primarily through Women Make Movies (WMM), a nonprofit dedicated to the production and distribution of films by and about women. Many of WMM’s films can be purchased for home viewing for $19.95.

Note: This list isn’t comprehensive. Nowhere close. Have a film that really should be on the list? Mention it in the comments!

More Noteworthy Films by and about Women

A Better Man (2017; co-dir. Attiya Khan; “a fresh and nuanced look at the healing and revelation that can happen for all involved when men take responsibility for their abuse”;

Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed (2004; Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 presidential bid) YouTube (pay); Women Make Movies; PBS

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (2016; Jane Jacobs vs. development mogul Robert Moses) CLAMS.

The Color Purple (1985; classic adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel) CLAMS

Dolores (2017; about union organizer and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta)

Driving with Selvi (2016; dir. Elisa Paloschi; the story of South India’s first female taxi driver, a refugee from a violent marriage;

Eagle Huntress, The (2016; 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl fights to become the first female eagle hunter in her family). CLAMS

Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (2009; documents the relationship of Edie Windsor, a pioneer in the fight for marriage equality, and Thea Spyer). CLAMS

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (2012; about activist and radical black academic Angela Davis) CLAMS

Frida (2002; biopic about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo) CLAMS

Girls Lost (2015; gender-bending Swedish film that explores growing up female) Netflix and CLAMS

Gotta Make This Journey (1983; Featuring the pioneering a cappella ensemble of black women,Sweet Honey in the Rock) WMM

GTFO: Get the F&#% Out (2015; documentary exploring the misogyny, harassment, etc., facing women in the video game industry) Kanopy

The Handmaid’s Tale (1990 version) CLAMS; Amazon prime video; Hulu

Heather Booth: Changing the World (2017; portrait of a veteran activist-organizer) WMM

The Hunting Ground (2015; dir. Kirby Dick; documentary about sexual assault on campus;

I Am Jane Doe (2017; sex trafficking) Netflix

Iron Jawed Angels (2004; Alice Paul and the US women’s suffrage movement) CLAMS; YouTube

Live Nude Girls Unite! (2000; documentary about the organizing efforts of strippers and support staff at a San Francisco peep show in the mid-1990s) Kanopy

Love It like a Fool (1977; short about the activist singer-songwriter Malvina Reynolds [1900–1978]) YouTube

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise (2017; dir. Bob Hercules & Rita Coburn Whack; documentary about the amazing memoirist, poet, and activist) PBS

Mozart’s Sister (2010; drama based on the life of Nannerl Mozart) CLAMS

Nothing Without Us: Women Who Will End AIDS (2017; dir. Harriet Hirschhorn;

Ovarian Psycos (2016; fierce, unapologetic and feminist young women of color in Los Angeles confront injustice, build community, and redefine identity through a raucous, irreverently named bicycle crew: The Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade) WMM

The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen (2016; the lifelong journey of a black lesbian dancer activist who grew up in Boston) WMM

Radical Grace (2015; dir. Rebecca Parrish; three feminist U.S. nuns fighting against the patriarchal church hierarchy and for social justice;

The Revival: Women and the Word (2016; follows black lesbian poets and musicians on a several-city tour that connects them with their audiences, their families, and the black feminist legacy that sustains them) WMM

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014; documentary about the early U.S. women’s liberation movement, 1966–1971) Netflix

Sonita (2015; dir. Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami; in Iran, Sonita, a refugee from Afghanistan, dreams of becoming a rapper while trying to avoid a forced marriage) WMM

Suffragette (2015; a drama about the militant UK suffrage movement of the early 20th century) CLAMS

A Taste of Honey (1961; working-class teenage girl finds herself pregnant after being thrown out of her mother’s house; focus on her new support network/family) CLAMS

To Keep the Light (2016; Inspired by the stories of real-life women lighthouse keepers, Erica Fae’s acclaimed film focuses on Abbie, a lighthouse keeper’s wife in late 19th century Maine;

To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters (2016; dir. Sally Wainwright) Netflix; CLAMS

Trapped (2016; dir. Dawn Porter; abortion providers fight back against legal restrictions;

Vessel (2014; dir. Diana Whitten; a woman’s project to offer abortions on a ship offshore evolves into something stronger) Netflix

What Doesn’t Kill Me (2017; dir. Rachel Meyrick; about survivors of domestic violence with a focus on children for whom courts give custody to abusive fathers) WMM

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015; documentary about the great singer-pianist-activist) Netflix; CLAMS

With Babies and Banners (1979; story of Women’s Emergency Brigade during a major UAW strike from December 1936 to February 1937; 45 min.) YouTube

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