50+ Films About Women That Will Inspire You, Anger You, and Make You Want to Change the World
50+ Films About Women That Will Inspire You, Anger You, and Make You Want to Change the World
By Films For Action / filmsforaction.org
Aug 4, 2015

Here are 50 documentaries, short films and other videos that focus on women's issues, perspectives and struggles. We're hoping to expand this list over time so feel free to share links to anything we missed via our contact page. Thanks!

 

Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
For The Next 7 Generations (2009)
84 min · In 2004, thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering, where they decided to form an...
Arise (2013) (trailer)
2 min · On every continent, women are taking the lead to protect and restore the natural environment, and are empowering others to respect the earth. Arise presents the stories of a...
Miss Representation (2011)
90 min · Miss Representation explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and...
This Is What Every Young Girl Can Expect to be Bombarded with for a Lifetime, Condensed Into 1 Min
1 min · Parents, friends, and teachers alike - talk to girls before the beauty industry does. A powerful and concise message that communicates the destructive effect the ad and beauty...
Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising's Image Of Women (2010)
45 min · In this update of her pioneering Killing Us Softly series, Jean Kilbourne takes a fresh look at how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity...
Jackson Katz: A Paradigm-Shifting Perspective On The Violence That Harms Both Women and Men
19 min · This should really get your brain thinking in entirely new ways. "Our whole cognitive structure is built up" to ignore this... Jackson Katz, Phd, is an anti-sexist activist...
UDITA (2015)
75 min · Life, death, oppression and resistance - 5 Years with the women of Bangladesh's sweatshops and their fight for a better life. Produced by RAINBOW COLLECTIVE and OPENVIZOR...
War Zone (1998)
45 min · What does it feel like to be a woman on the street in a cultural environment that does nothing to discourage men from heckling, following, touching or disparaging women in...
When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories (1992)
27 min · This Academy Award-nominated film features compelling first person accounts which reveal the physical, legal, and emotional consequences during the era when abortion was a...
It's A Girl (2012)
64 min · In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200...
Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring On Sex, Lies And Global Economics (1995)
94 min · In this feature-length documentary, Marilyn Waring demystifies the language of economics by defining it as a value system in which all goods and activities are related only to...
India: A Dangerous Place To Be A Woman (2013)
57 min · In December 2012 a young medical student was brutally gang-raped on board a bus in Delhi. Horrified by the attack, 28-year-old British Asian Radha Bedi travels to India to...
Blurred Lines: The New Battle Of The Sexes (2014)
53 min · From bomb threats sent to campaigners for more females on banknotes to sexually explicit pop videos. From extreme laddism at universities to rape jokes in the school yard...
I Never Said Yes (2012)
56 min · A woman is raped every ten minutes in the UK and yet thousands of rapes go unreported and conviction rates remain low. Pips Taylor explores why, in powerful interviews with...
475 (2013)
63 min · Amina Filali is a 16-year old Moroccan girl who committed suicide after being forced to marry her alleged rapist (in accordance with the article 475 of the Moroccan penal...
Rape on the Reservation (2010)
45 min · According to national statistics, one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes. Vanguard correspondent Mariana Van Zeller travels to Rosebud reservation...
Insiders Reveal the Layered Forms of Sexism in Film & Television
3 min · When our daughters or young women look at the screen they don't see a reflection of themselves
A Girl Like Me (2005)
7 min · A Girl Like Me explores the standards of beauty imposed on today's black girls. The film delves beneath the surface in order to show how such standards affect self-esteem and...
Selling The Girl Next Door (2015)
45 min · Selling the Girl Next Door takes viewers into the world of underage American girls caught up in the violent sex trade. Thousands of girls under the age of 18 are ensnared into...
Take Up Space - A Clarion Call to All Women from Poet Vanessa Kisuule
5 min · Vanessa Kisuule calls on all women, whatever their age, creed or class, to stop shrinking themselves, and instead, take up space! Part of the Women Who Spit series. Watch them...
We Need a Sexual Revolution in the Middle East
4 min · 'Let's face it, the Arab Spring failed women. They are no closer to liberation than before the uprisings.' Mona Eltahawy, who was beaten and sexually assaulted by Egyptian riot...
Things Not to Say to a Trans Person
8 min · BBC Free Speech got together some people from the transgender community to pick out questions they often hear. We asked, so you don't have to!
Stop Telling Women To Smile
6 min · Stop Telling Women to Smile is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work attempts to address gender based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women, composed...
The Hunting Ground (2015)
2 min · From the team behind THE INVISIBLE WAR, comes a startling exposé of rape crimes on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their...
#WhoWillYouHelp: Canada Releases Anti-Sexual Assault PSA
1 min · Video encourages bystanders to take action. Join the conversation: #WhoWillYouHelp. Read the action plan at Ontario.ca/WhoWillYouHelp.
This Is The First and Last Rape Joke You'll Ever Need to Hear
4 min · Members of the Los Angeles based literacy group, Get Lit, perform "Rape Joke" at Brave New Voices 2014, a youth-centric poetry slam created by Youth Speaks.  
Angela Davis On Violence
8 min · This excerpt from The Black Power Mixtape features a powerful interview with Angela Davis in 1972 in which she speaks about violence, which is still relevant today.
Anarchists in India Need You: Help Us Make India Gender-Tolerant!
3 min · "In three generations, India has systematically targeted and annihilated more than 50 million women from its population – a number which constitutes the sum total of the...
'Like a Girl': What Does that Mean to You?
3 min · A new Always advert seeks to change what it means to be 'like a girl' by showing kids and adults reacting differently to the phrase. Women: if someone asked you to ‘run like a...
Room for Rent - Making The Case For Sex Worker Rights
3 min · Room for rent is based on the belief that in order to challenge exploitation within this work force we shouldn’t victimize and ostracize sex workers, or close down their...
I Believe in Me: Fighting for Trans Rights in Prison
7 min · On the day of her release from state custody, Donisha McShan tells her story of finding her voice and standing up for her right to be treated as a woman.
If Women's Roles In Ads Were Played By Men
2 min · Watch this. Then imagine what it would be like if most of the images you saw of men in every form of media were like this too. It would be a little weird, right?
It's Time Our Culture Rewrites the Story on Gender
2 min · Join the movement. Featuring: Jean Kilbourne, Pedro Noguera, Jackson Katz and Rosario Dawson. Take the pledge: http://therepresentationproject.org/pledge
Girl Rising (2013) (trailer)
2 min · From Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins comes Girl Rising - an innovative new feature film about the power of education to change a girl -- and the...
This Powerful Video Shows Men What It Feels Like To Be Subjected To Sexism And Sexual Violence
11 min · The short film, in French and directed by Éléonore Pourriat, shows a father taking his kid to kindergarten and going through the rest of his day facing catcalls, sexist...
The 'Sexy Lie' We Should Be Talking About
12 min · "I am here today to talk about a lie." That's how politics professor Caroline Heldman opened her Jan. 2013 TEDxYouth San Diego talk on the topic of sexual objectification. "I'd...
Slutwalk: A Day In Her Heels
17 min · Slutwalk. After a local police chief accused college women of dressing like sluts, the students created a demonstration movement called Slutwalk. It is growing and getting...
$5 For Guys, Girls Free
16 min · $5 for Guys. Girls Free is a re-enacted close-up of the college generation and how quickly a typical night out can go wrong. The story is led by a Spoken Word artist and...
Generation M: Misogyny in Media & Culture
5 min · Despite the achievements of the women's movement over the past four decades, misogyny remains a persistent force in American culture. In this important documentary, Thomas...
Give Women Their Share
3 min · Despite significant economic and social progress, India is still host to deep gender inequalities due to the unjustifiable patriarchal social norms and practices that...
Disney Princesses Sing for Equal Pay for Women
3 min · Disney Princesses believe in equal pay for all humans (and mermaids).
1 Billion Rising Against Rape: Why Will You Rise?
2 min · On December 16, 2012 a young woman and her friend travelling on a bus in South Delhi were physically assaulted.  The young woman was raped and brutalized and fought for her...
Sext Up Kids: How Growing Up in a Hyper-Sexualized Culture Hurts Our Kids (2012)
37 min · The powder keg that is porn culture has exploded in the lives of North American children. From thongs and padded bras for 9-year-old girls to "sexting," 24-7 internet porn, and...
Solar Mamas (2012)
58 min · SOLAR MAMAS: Are women better at getting out of poverty than men? An inspiring film about one woman’s attempt to light up her world. Rafea is an uneducated Bedouin mother...
Dream Worlds 3: Desire, Sex & Power in Music Video (2007)
5 min · Examines the stories contemporary music videos tell about girls and women and encourages viewers to consider how these narratives shape individual and cultural attitudes about...
9 Out of 10 Teenage Girls Haven't Given Up On This Idea. We Shouldn't Either.
2 min · While the chips are clearly stacked against today’s young girls, amazing women everywhere continue to rise above the stats. You or someone you know is probably one of...
The Codes of Gender (2009)
1 min · Written and directed by MEF Executive Director Sut Jhally, The Codes of Gender applies the late sociologist Erving Goffman's groundbreaking analysis of advertising to the...
The Girl Effect: The Clock is Ticking
3 min · The clock is ticking... See how a 12-year-old girl could be the solution the world needs right now. The Girl Effect: The unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end...
Meet the Activist Who Wants Women Everywhere to 'Free the Nipple'
4 min · Most American cities are full of breasts. They are everywhere: On billboards. On storefronts. On buildings. But if you look closely, there's consistently one thing missing...
The Business of Being Born (2008)
122 min · Birth: it's a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth...
Climate Change Is About...Women
2 min · Climate change is about...food, water, extractivism. Climate change is about...women, in leadership, in unity. Climate change is about...much more than climate change. This...
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (2013)
2 min · Sundance award-winning documentary which tells the compelling story of how a group of young, feminist punk rockers known as Pussy Riot captured the world's attention by...
The Invisible War (2012)
97 min · The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The...
Excerpts from The Black Power MixTape: 1967-1975
62 min · Swedish journalists came to the United States to document the anti-war and Black Power movements of the late 60s and early 70s. The Black Power Mixtape combines music, original...
The Colour of Beauty
18 min · Renee Thompson is trying to make it as a top fashion model in New York. She’s got the looks, the walk and the drive. But she’s a black model in a world where white women...
RAW
RAW
8 min · The Revolution has begun. Be a part of it. Spread the love.  https://www.facebook.com/enarxisproject Trigger alert (for people with eating disorders around the 1:30...
The Gulabi Gang
15 min · In this week's show an homage to women everywhere, a look at the trolls from the Men's Rights Movements and how the Gulabi Gang in India who are beating down rapitsts with big...
What Ads With Half-Naked Women Look Like When They’re Turned Into Men
4 min · The first part of this clip gets into the sexism and rape culture around advertising, but what really illustrates the point clearly is the last half. They use men instead...
The Fighting F--k Toy and Other Disturbing Hollywood Archetypes that Shape Our Perception of Women
10 min · Want to have a pervasive effect on the subconscious attitudes of our culture? Get into the entertainment business. This is a clip from the amazing film Miss Representation...
Awra Amba: Utopia in Ethiopia (2010)
28 min · Men of quality do not fear equality. A message about equality from Awra Amba, the amazing egalitarian village in Northern Ethiopia, where men and women enjoy equality at home...
America the Beautiful (2007)
2 min · In a society where "celebutantes" like Paris Hilton dominate newsstands and models who weigh less than 90 pounds die from malnutrition, female body image is one of the more...
Shatter The Silence
20 min · Shatter the Silence focuses on the processes that occur after one has been raped or sexually assaulted. The film provides a concise look at the legal process: filing formal...
Katalyst
23 min · Katalyst follows Katya, an amateur artist and survivor of sexual assault, as she goes on a journey of healing. She comes into contact with other survivors and takes steps with...
Invisible Fight
14 min · Invisible Fight is part documentary and part fictional film, with the focus on highlighting the stupidity and injustice of victim blaming. First-person testimonials of actual...
Because You're Worthless - Challenging The Current Economic System in 3 Minutes
3 min · Poem by Agnes Török on the news of a new Conservative budget. Based on experiences of living in Britain under austerity as a young, queer, unemployed, female immigrant student...
Caught in Conflict: Women in Pakistan
8 min · Discreet and often in disguise, for five years renowned photojournalist Alixandra Fazzina collected the stories and pictures of women surviving conflict on the borders and in...
Tropes vs Women in Video Games: Women as Background Decoration
61 min · Content Warning: This educational episode contains graphic sexual and violent game footage. The Women as Background Decoration trope which is the subset of...
This Woman Broke A 3,000-Year-Old Glass Ceiling. No Wonder There Was Such A Firestorm.
2 min · 3,000 years of Orthodox Judaism and no female rabbi - until now. Sara faced a firestorm within the Jewish community in the Bronx, New York - and throughout the world - when she...
Every Serena Williams Win Comes with a Side of Racism and Sexism
2 min · Serena Williams is widely regarded as the best female tennis player of all time. But her career has been followed by severe racism and sexism that taps into stereotypes about...
Set Her Free
3 min · Three refugee women speak out about their experiences of detention in the UK. This film was first shown in Westminster in January 2014 to launch Women for Refugee Women's...
Anarchy Lives: Rojava
8 min · There is place where sex, creed and ethnicity do not harbor division. A place where everyone is military trained so that having a police force becomes obsolete. A place where...
State of Female Justice: What Makes You Rise?
147 min ·  In LA, February 6, Flanders hosted a live public event, bringing together women from the movements for racial, economic, environmental and media justice to discuss creating...
Two Spirits (trailer)
2 min · Fred Martinez was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16. Two Spirits explores the life and death of a boy who was also a...
The Bro Code: How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men (trailer)
7 min · In MEF's powerful new release, The Bro Code, filmmaker Thomas Keith takes aim at the forces in male culture that condition boys and men to dehumanize and disrespect women...
Mountains That Take Wing: Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama (2009)
97 min · MOUNTAINS THAT TAKE WING features conversations that span 13 years between two formidable women whose lives and political work remain at the epicenter of the most important...
Paradise with Side Effects (2004)
2 min · A documentary following two women from Ladakh, or Little Tibet, a remote region in the Himalayas, on a reality tour of London to see what life in the West is really like. The...
Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth
4 min · Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth is a feature documentary film which tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman’s journey from her birth in a paper-thin shack in cotton...
Ancient Futures:  Learning From Ladakh (1993)
4 min · How we can learn about ecological solutions from an ancient culture? Ladakh, or Little Tibet, is a wildly beautiful desert land high in the western Himalayas. It is a place of...
Inside Her Sex: Where Shame And Sexuality Collide (2014)
3 min · While we live in a highly sexualized society, the messaging around female sexuality is distorted and rife with shame. What women should look like, who women should want, what...
Living Thinkers: An Autobiography of Black Women in the Ivory Tower (2013)
5 min · LIVING THINKERS examines the intersection of race, class and gender for Black women professors and administrators working in U.S. colleges and universities today. Through...
Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights (2013)
3 min · Where do black women activists fit into the epochal struggles for equality and liberation during the 1960s and 70s? This feature-length documentary unearths the story of black...
Feminism Inshallah: A History Of Arab Feminism (2014)
2 min · The struggle for Muslim women’s emancipation is often portrayed stereotypically as a showdown between Western and Islamic values, but Arab feminism has existed for more than a...
Private Violence (2014)
3 min · Private Violence explores a simple, but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home. Every day in the U.S., at...
The Supreme Price (2014)
10 min · The Supreme Price is a feature length documentary film that traces the evolution of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in...
What The World Needs Now Is A Vision Of A Global Peace Culture Based On Trust
5 min · "Trust is the basis on which life heals. There is no deeper vision than the vision of a world in which trust reigns between all beings." The video is inspired by the english...

 

 

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50+ Films About Women That Will Inspire You, Anger You, and Make You Want to Change the World