8 Must-Watch Documentaries for Women's History Month

8 Must-Watch Documentaries for Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate all women and champion their contributions throughout history but also to raise awareness about the ongoing movements for gender equality around the world. During this month (and beyond), we hope you will bring your community together to celebrate women and leadership through the work of acclaimed women filmmakers. Below is a list of documentaries that we would like to highlight, but please be sure to check out our entire collection of films for Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. All of these films are available for streaming and purchase through GOOD DOCS for your next school or organization event!


Madonna Thunder Hawk and daughter Marcy leaning on car
1. WARRIOR WOMEN: This month let’s celebrate Indigenous women at the frontlines of the fight for Native liberation. Warrior Women is the Peabody Award-nominated story of Madonna Thunder Hawk, a leader of the American Indian Movement, and her daughter, Marcy, as they shape the next generation of activists while fighting against environmental devastation and the erasure of indigenous cultural values. The film explores the balance between motherhood and advocacy and how activist legacies are passed down in the face of a government that has continually met Native resistance with mass violence.

Lawyer, Lea Tsemel, writing on her desk facing Palestinian man
2. ADVOCATE: This Emmy Award-winning documentary follows the story of Lea Tsemel, a Jewish-Israeli lawyer who has dedicated five decades to representing Palestinians despite push back and criticism from fellow Israelis. In her tireless quest for justice, Tsemel pushes the praxis of a human rights defender to its limits. As far as most Israelis are concerned, she defends the indefensible. As far as Palestinians are concerned, she's more than an attorney, she’s an advocate.

Maria Moreno with arms crossed in front of laborers and farmers in the fields
3. ADIOS AMOR: Before the launch of the United Farm Workers by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, there was Maria Moreno, a migrant mother and outspoken leader in the passionate pursuit of justice for farmworkers. A forgotten hero who sacrificed everything but her twelve kids to weaponize her voice and stand up in an era when women were relegated to the background. The first farm worker woman in America to be hired as a union organizer, Maria’s story was silenced and her legacy buried—until now.

Activist, Grace Lee Boggs, smiling at camera
4. AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: This Peabody Award-winning interdisciplinary film shot over 10 years takes us through the life of Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese American woman in Detroit, who died in 2015 at 100 years old. A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she devoted her life to an evolving revolution; from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond. 

Trans comedian, Julia Scotti, on stage with microphone in hand
5. JULIA SCOTTI: FUNNY THAT WAY: Imagine coming out as transgender during the peak of your career at a time when the words gender dysphoria and gender reassignment surgery were rarely heard. This is the story of Julia Scotti, once known as Rick Scott, a comedian in high demand during the comedy boom of the 80’s. Everyone she knew turned away but most painfully, Julia was shut out from any contact with her children. Shot over a period of five years, this documentary tracks Julia’s triumphant comeback, the complex process of reuniting with her children, and the way that comedy becomes a shared language of identity, healing and joy.

Victim of forced sterilization, Maria Figueroa, in front of a courthouse
6. NO MÁS BEBÉS: This Emmy-nominated classic documentary tells the story of Mexican immigrant mothers who, with the help of a young Chicana lawyer, sued doctors, the state, and the U.S. government after they were sterilized while giving birth during the 1970s. Their efforts led to their landmark 1975 civil rights lawsuit, Madrigal v. Quilligan, which asserted that a woman’s right to bear a child is guaranteed under the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. It celebrates the significant contribution of Chicana activists who sought to redefine reproductive politics to include the needs of poor women and women of color and to assert the right to abortion, but also the human right to bear a child. 


Sergeant Alice White posing in police car

7. WOMEN IN BLUE: Filmed from 2017-202, Women in Blue follows four female police officers and Minneapolis’ first female police chief Janeé Harteau, as she works to reform the Minneapolis Police Department by diversifying the ranks and promoting women—who statistically use less force than their male counterparts—into every rank of leadership. When an incident leads to men replacing all the women in leadership, the film begins to ask questions that apply well beyond the city of Minneapolis. Could increased gender equity and more women—especially Black women—contribute to greater public safety?

Artist, Sophia Wallace, on street with sign that says "Democracy without cliteracy? Phallusy

8. THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE: Female sexuality has always been a taboo topic but The Dilemma of Desire is helping to normalize dialogue. The film follows diverse, intergenerational stories of women across industries, from a neuroscientist to an industrial designer, who are shattering lies about female sexual desire, bodies, and power. We also follow along as young women of color unlearn harmful mythologies in order to reclaim their sexual and personal empowerment. Through this film we learn, sexual freedom is central to the promise of human dignity, self-determination, and equality.