Compiled By Kamaria Muntu, Editor and
Malkia Charlee NoCry, Feminist Philosophy Editor
Femficātiō is counting down the Top 101 Feminist films all women (and men) must see. In our view, these films best reflect the landscape of women’s identity, experience and place in the world today.
We will be giving you 10 a day every day until we reach number one!
Here we go…!
71. Fire, 1996
Drama, Written and Directed by Deepa Mehta
Hindi with English subtitles.
This first installment of Mehta’s Elements series is a unique tale of two women discovering themselves against the backdrop of domineering and distant men. The story of Sita and Radha’s unexpected love and resolve to leave their husbands, who never wanted them but kept them hostage by convention, demonstrates the strength of women’s bonds across generations.
70. The Innocent, 2001
Drama, Directed By Sarah Harding, Written by Jan McVerry and Stephen Mallatratt
The blurry side of rape is well illustrated in this Caroline Quintin and Clare Holden ITV television movie directed by Sarah Harding. If you’re attracted to a man, and he rapes you – were you asking for it? A story about friendships, sexual license, motherhood and assault – a great film when you can find it, a must see.
69. The Josephine Baker Story, 1991
Historical Drama, Directed by Brian Gibson and Written by Ron Hutchinson and Michael Zagor
The legend that was Josephine Baker is beautifully formed in this lovely drama. She began her career as a struggling performer in St Louis in 1917 and was performing at the height of the parisian cabaret scene in the 20s and 30s. A woman who dared to expatriate in the days when most Black women worked in domestic service – a herstory not to be ignored.
68. In the Time of the Butterflies, 2001
Historical Drama, Directed by Mariano Barroso and Written by Julia Álvarez, Judy Klass and David Klass
A fictionalized account of the lives of the Maribal sisters, four Dominican dissidents who worked to oppose the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Adapted from Julia Alvarez’ book of the same name, this beautifully filmed drama aptly portrays the lives of women who seek to rebel against oppression – even if this exact portrayal is a fictional account. Three of the Maribal sisters were assassinated – it was thought by the government or loyalists to Trujillo. A must see, as it will spur your interest in not only this Freedom Fighting women, but also the regime of Trujillo.
67. Alma’s Rainbow, 1994
Comedy Written and Directed by Ayoka Chenzira
This heartwarming light comedic drama follows Alma (Kim Weston-Moran), a worried prudish single mother raising her adolescent artistic daughter Rainbow (Victoria Gabriella Platt) in Brooklyn. When Alma’s sister Ruby (Mizan Nunes) arrives back in town (after making her living as a Josephine Baker impersonator) she takes Rainbow under her wing, with the message we only have one life to live – so live it to the fullest. A great story, showing that being a single mother is not an occasion for mourning, and all women should follow their passions wherever they may lead them.
66. The Autobiography of Ms Jane Pitman, 1974
Drama, Directed by John Korty and Written by Tracy Keenan Wynn adapted from the novel by Ernest J. Gaines
Adapted from the 1971 novel by Ernest J Gaines of the same title, this tale of a young woman born into slavery in the 1850s underscores the way in which women and not just men participated in rebellions against slavery. The resilience of girls and Black Diaspora women made to endure the savage brutality of the slavery system is often disregarded. Seen through the eyes of narrator Jane Pittman (award winning Cicely Tyson), she tells the major events of her life from her life enslaved as a little girl, slavery to the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement.
65. A Woman Called Moses, 1978
TV Mini-series, Drama Directed by Paul Wendkos Written by Lonne Elder III adapted from the novel by Marcy Heidish
Cicely Tyson again at her finest. The story of the life of slavery abolitionist Harriet Tubman portrayed by the award winning actress Cicely Tyson, is a triumphant tale of a woman who changed the course of history for over 70 enslaved persons through her bravery and unwavering faith. An intelligent and fierce woman, this is a must see for the rare portrayals of “Moses” in her fullest humanity. An essential item to any collection, well worth a hunt to find it.
64. Ladies Room, 2000
Anthology Comedic-Drama, Directed by Gabriella Cristiani and Written by Leila Basen and Natalina Di Leandro
Don’t we find out the best gossip in the Ladies Room? But what if its about you?
Two women watch on a giant TV screen within a surreal high-ceilinged purgatory their final days before arriving there. Both are having affairs with married men, and while watching this aspect of their lives unfold they are asked probing questions about their motivations by a mysterious sylph.
A delightful movie about women’s solidarity, actually funny and insightful. A truly underrated film.
63. Alien, 1979
Sci-Fi Directed by Ridley Scott and Written by Dan O’Bannon, David Giler (uncredited) and Walter Hill
Before there were women captains on Star Trek, Lt. Ellen Ripley was our badass leader and heroine of 2122. She is of genius scientific intelligence, physically strong and in this and subsequent sequels tremendously protective in Amazonian tradition, of all those put in her charge. Sigourney Weaver is a perfect Ripley, and though not all Alien movies are of equal artistic merit, every time she boards a ship you know she’s taking no prisoners.
62. Eyes of the Rainbow: Assata Shakur and Oya, 1997
Documentary, Written and Directed by Gloria Rolando
“In the struggle of the African
American people, many
women’s voices in the past and
the present have always called
for social justice, women who
throughout the years have
shown integrity and firmness in
their principles. For this reason,
‘The Eyes of the Rainbow’ is
dedicated to all women who
struggle for a better world”. Gloria Rolando
Gloria Rolando’s “Eyes of the Rainbow” is an illuminating and powerful documentary about the life of Assata Shakur, the
Black Panther Party activist who
escaped from prison and was
granted political asylum in Cuba, her status since 1984. What makes this film so glorious is the juxtaposition of the revolution and the goddess traditions – the AfroCuban and Yoruba Orisha – Oya, goddess of the ancestors of war, the cemetery and the rainbow. The visual examination and celebration of two aspects of Black peoples history – Women Freedom Fighters and Indigenous African Goddesses make this a historical centrepiece and a brave illustration of holistic women’s empowerment. Search, search, search! You must see this film.