Fave Feminist Films?

Feministing had a great post a few weeks back about favorite feminist films. It’s worth a read for the great list of movies that it generated, and caught my attention particularly because “The Labyrinth,” my very very favorite movie as a kid, was listed in the comments. I had never thought of Labyrinth as being particularly feminist (more about cute muppets, great songs, and most importantly: David Bowie in tights), but the bloggers that mentioned it saw the film as a story of a young woman overcoming an abusive relationship, especially through Jennifer Connelly’s “You have no power over me!” speech (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s worth a rental).

As much as I loved this post and thread, I had a really hard time coming up with my own list of favorite feminist movies. Anyone have any suggestions? And while we’re at it, what would make a movie “feminist” to you?

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2 thoughts on “Fave Feminist Films?

  1. I definitely agree with the sentiment that it is difficult to come up with Feminist movies on the spot. I have rattled my brain for about ten minutes and just asked a friend if she knew of any. After she responded “NO” in utter confusion, I had to redefine feminism as women’s empowerment–then she had a couple. She mentioned “How Stella Got her groove back”, “Waiting to Exhale”, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”—do we see a pattern here–these movies are all representative of women of color. I guess Traveling Pants might count if we were talking about women’s relationships with each other or YaYa Sisterhood, but this is really difficult.

    In the process of thinking about this critically, I have become slightly triggered at the fact that all of the movies that my friend and I conjured up are black films. I guess for me , this raises the question of whether or not it is more important for women of color to see empowering images on television and what it means for me not to be able to recall other movies. Actually, I just thought of “Water,” but that’s also representative of Hinduism. At this point I guess I’m wondering if people/directors are more conscious of challenging patriarchal structures in non-western cultures or in groups that most people would agree are marginalized. I’ll have to think about this some more so please stay tuned…

  2. The first feminist movie that came into my head was Thelma and Louise. It’s absolutely fabulous in challenging the way society deals with women who defend themselves against sexual abuse. Also, If These Walls Could Talk is feminist but painful, revealing the history of abortion over the course of several generations. The horror of illegal doctors’ procedures stresses the need for abortion to be legal. I think feminist films can be feminist for many different reasons, whether that be about standing up to injustice, or just showing women taking charge of their life and being active. Empowering images can be as simple as a woman going after a healthy relationship and getting one.

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