March is Women's History Month, and we'd like to feature a number of award-winning documentaries that uplift the stories, resilience, and leadership of women. Click here to see many more films about women, gender and sexuality!
In FINDING HER BEAT, a master of Japanese drumming and a Korean adoptee from Minnesota boldly convene an all-female troupe to perform Taiko, the Japanese drumming art that has been off-limits to women for centuries.
STREET HEROINES is an award-winning feature-length documentary celebrating the courage and creativity of women who despite their lack of recognition have been an integral part of the graffiti and street art movement since the beginning.
TO THE END captures the emergence of a new generation of leaders and the movement behind the most sweeping climate change legislation in U.S. history. The award-winning team behind Knock Down the House follows four exceptional young women— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, activist Varshini Prakash, climate policy writer Rhiana Gunn-Wright, and political strategist Alexandra Rojas— as they grapple with new challenges of leadership and power and work together to defend their generation’s right to a future.
MUÔI follows queer single mother Muội Hồng as she navigates the limitations of a restrictive and traditional Vietnamese culture while pursuing her dream to be an artist. She finds healing, strength, expression, community, meaning, and authenticity in her pursuit of hip hop dancing.
When director Jasmin Mara López sees a photo of her niece with her grandfather, she is flooded by painful memories of her own childhood sexual abuse at his hands—and the following 24 years of her silence. In SILENT BEAUTY, López bravely films her story as a willful act to accept difficult truths while finding beauty in the process of healing.
A chronicle of resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), WE ARE UNARMED bears witness to this historic event from the first week of September 2016 to forced evacuation on February 23rd, 2017. Award-winning filmmaker Gwendolen Cates goes
Women in China were historically forced into oppressive marriages and forbidden to read or write by their households for thousands of years. To cope, they developed and shared a secret language among themselves called Nushu. HIDDEN LETTERS follows two millennial Chinese women as they work to protect the legacy of Nushu while struggling to forge their own paths in a patriarchal culture steeped in female subservience to men.
Seven months after helping her terminally ill mother have a “good death” in home-hospice, filmmaker Judith Helfand becomes a “new old” single mother at 50. Told in the first person, in deep consultation with the past – as in 25 years of family footage – LOVE & STUFF explores the transformative power of parenting, our complex and very emotional attachment to stuff, and what it is we really need to leave our children.
In POWERLANDS, young Navajo filmmaker Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso investigates the displacement of Indigenous people and the devastation of the environment caused by chemical companies. She travels to the La Guajira region in rural Colombia, the Tampakan region of the Philippines, the Tehuantepec Isthmus of Mexico, and the protests at Standing Rock and meets Indigenous women leading the struggle against the same corporations that are causing displacement and environmental catastrophe in her own home.
An inspired and poetic portrait of a place and its people, MANZANAR, DIVERTED: WHEN WATER BECOMES DUST follows intergenerational women from three communities who defend their land, their history and their culture from the insatiable thirst of Los Angeles. In this fresh retelling of the LA water story, Native Americans, Japanese-American WWII incarcerees and environmentalists form an unexpected alliance to preserve Payahuunadü (Owens Valley), “the land of flowing water.”
In the 1970s, with the swagger of unapologetic Indianness, organizers of the American Indian Movement (AIM) fought for Native liberation as a community of extended families. WARRIOR WOMEN is the story of Madonna Thunder Hawk, one such AIM leader who shaped a kindred group of activists' children - including her daughter Marcy - into the "We Will Remember" Survival School as a Native alternative to government-run education.
NO MÁS BEBÉS tells the story of Mexican immigrant mothers who sued doctors, the state, and the U.S. government after they were sterilized while giving birth at Los Angeles County General Hospital during the 1970s. Alongside an intrepid, 26-year-old Chicana lawyer and armed with hospital records secretly gathered by a whistle-blowing young doctor, these mothers stood up to powerful institutions in the name of justice.
ON THE DIVIDE follows the stories of three Latinx people living in McAllen, Texas, who, despite their conflicting views, are connected by the most unexpected of places: the last abortion clinic on the U.S./Mexico border. Despite their pro-life or pro-choice views, Mercedes, Rey and Denisse do not fit neatly on either side of the abortion debate, and their stories reveal that the issue is not as black and white as it might seem.
MY SO-CALLED SELFISH LIFE is a paradigm-shifting documentary from award-winning filmmaker Therese Shechter that examines one of our greatest social taboos: choosing to be childfree. This funny, thought-provoking, and sometimes sobering film shines light on a society that believes all women want children — that giving birth is not only a biological imperative but the defining measure of womanhood.