4 Feminist Films You Must See
Women succeeding or fighting against discrimination.
The new film Hustlers led by Jennifer Lopez has just hit theatres, and everyone’s going crazy about it. Gabriela Moxon dubs the film as an important feminist movie, and for good reason. The film is about more than just strippers. It revolves around the resilience and sacrifice women in the industry go through to take back power from Wall Street men whose greed caused the 2008 financial recession. However, Hustlers is just one of many feminist films in recent years that have worked to change the perception of women in a man’s world. Below, we’ll look at four feminist films you should see and how they show women succeeding or fighting against discrimination.
Queen of Katwe (2016)
The film set in present day Uganda follows Phiona Mutesi, a girl living in the slums of Katwe. Living in Katwe is a constant struggle for Phiona, who helps her mother in the market while taking care of her baby brother. One day, she discovers how to play chess through a missionary program. With the guidance of her coach Roberto Katende, she becomes deeply fascinated with the game and soon becomes a top player in the group. The film traces the ups and downs of Phiona’s career as a chess player, and how she uses the game to escape her current reality. Despite chess being a male-dominated sport, Phiona proves that women have a place at the table. The film transcends gender and class to show how success can start from humble beginnings.
Wild Rose (2018)
Featured in Stylist’s list of feminist must-see movies is British musical drama Wild Rose. Wild Rose tells the complicated story of Scottish Rose-Lynn Harlan, who was just released from prison in Glasgow and is gearing up to pursue her dream of becoming a country singer in Nashville, USA. The aspiring country singer however is a single mother of two. She’s encouraged by her own mother to give up her aspirations and take on a more practical career while caring for her family. The film depicts her struggle between pursuing her own dreams and being there for her children. It goes on to show how she defies the patriarchal pressures put on a woman to fulfil her role as a mother before anything else.
Molly’s Game (2017)
The West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin made his directorial debut with the film Molly’s Game. The film chronicles the life of Molly Bloom, who ran poker games that drew major celebrities and helped her earn $4 million a year at her peak. The movie delves deep into the strong heroine’s battle with the courts, where she was charged in 2014 for running an illegal poker business. The film shows her strength of character through how she overcame an injury that cut her sporting career short to become successful entrepreneur.
Alongside showing a woman surviving in a man’s world, Molly’s Game also captures the beginning of the poker craze that swept the world in the early 2000s. The film depicts how poker games were fast becoming America’s favourite pastime, particularly as more people could access and learn about the game online. The how to play guides that are featured on PartyPoker show how learning about the card game has become big business. As more people are now playing poker, there is an increasing demand for online lessons that will help them at both the tables and online. The beginning of this public demand is illustrated in the film as more players join Molly’s poker club. Molly’s Game is not only about a strong female character but also about a changing cultural trend that was happening around the world.
The Witch (2016)
Based on a 17th century New England folktale from Robert Eggers, this film is more than just a supernatural horror. On a deeper note, The Witch looks at how during a highly patriarchal and strictly religious era, any woman who was considered different was declared a witch. The film revolves around a Puritan family banished from their colony, and forced to start a new life. Naturally, the themes covered in the movie are a play on religion and modern feminist ideas. The Witch is a story of female rebellion and coming to terms with an outsider status.