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Women’s History Month In Film

As we near the end of the month of March, it is important to reflect on how we have celebrated women’s history, and how we can continue doing so. In this post, I will give you six examples of movies throughout history that have honored and celebrated the accomplishments and struggles of women. Whether it is fictional tales or telling the real experiences of heroic women throughout history, it is vital to our culture and understanding of the world that we all live in together that we understand the struggles and accomplishment of women. 

  1. A League of Their Own (1992) 

This film was written, directed, and fronted by women, something unheard of in the 90’s. But with the star-filled cast of Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Rosie O’Donnell, this movie was revolutionary in its story telling. The movie follows an all-women baseball team during World War II and confronts the sexism and discrimination that women face not only in sports, but also in their day-to-day lives.  

  1. Hidden Figures (2017) 

This film follows three Black women mathematicians working for NASA as they work to send a man into space. While making history, they also having to navigate the discrimination in the workplace and racism in their everyday lives. Each woman in this film has her own unique story and strongly represents the different areas in which women can thrive in the world. This movie is essential to watch, as it shows us the unseen heroes from our history and the struggles that they endured, often to little or no recognition. 

  1. 9 to 5 (1980) 

Dolly Parton’s film about three female secretaries and their sexist boss brings a humor to the narrative of women’s history, showing women no longer tolerating mistreatment while still creating an entertaining movie. Parton stars with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in this film, and all three women deliver outstanding performances. This film was one of the biggest launches of Dolly Parton into pop culture.  

  1. Spencer (2021) 

This film, starring Kristen Stewart, follows the life of Princess Diana, surrounded by scrutiny and struggle as a royal. The movie follows the strained royal life of the Princess, revealing the suffering that she endured while married to Prince Charles. This film shows the immense pressure that Diana, and many other women, face to look, act, or be a certain way. It reveals how this treatment can consume a person and lead them to a dark place. From this movie, I hope that people take away the importance of empathy and lifting each other up.

  1. On the Basis of Sex (2018) 

Two years before her death in 2020, this film was released about the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. This biopic details Ginsberg’s time at Harvard Law School while also balancing new motherhood, as well as her experiences while becoming the second female Supreme Court Justice. The focus of the film is on a specific case that Ginsberg takes as an attorney, as she teams up with her husband and is launched into her successful career as a Justice on the Supreme Court. 

  1. She Said (2022) 

After multiple accusations of sexual assault and harassment came out against Harvey Weinstein in 2017, a revolutionary movement of women speaking out about their experiences called #MeToo took the internet by storm. This film tells the story of two investigators who broke the story and worked with the victims who came forward after its release. This movie explains the difficulty of being an investigative journalist, while also taking a delicate and empathetic approach to the sensitive topic of sexual assault. By documenting this movement, the film encourages women to speak out and continue fighting for change. 

All of these films show various stories of strong, powerful women who have been revolutionary throughout history. As March comes to a close, I recommend you check out one or more of these films from your IU libraries, pop some popcorn, and learn about how women have changed history. 

Corinne Regan is a sophomore at Indiana University studying Political Science. In addition to work at the desk in Media Services, Corinne also works as at server at Chili’s. In her freetime, Corinne enjoys baking banana bread with her boyfriend, taking naps, and playing with her three dogs.

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