12 Films You Have to Watch For International Women’s Day

Get ready to be inspired by these films for International Women’s Day.

With International Women’s Day right around the corner, what better way to commemorate this momentous day than by watching some of the best movies which portray resilient and intelligent women.

Here are 12 movies that will inspire you and your loved ones.

1. Becoming
“Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you. Let them make you even hungrier to succeed.” – Michelle Obama

Follow former first lady, Michelle Obama, as she takes an intimate look at her hopes and connections. From her Let’s Move campaign to her role of “head mom in chief” to her two daughters, Becoming explores her life and experiences. The film is a reminder that regardless of your circumstances, criticism, or what people think, you will always move forward.

2. Little Women
 “Women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty. I’m so sick of people saying that love is all a woman is fit for.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Based on the well-acclaimed novel written by Louisa May Alcott, the story follows the lives of four sisters Meg (Emma Watson), Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Beth (Eliza Scanlen), and Amy (Florence Pugh) as they make their transition to womanhood and struggle to conform to society’s strict ideals of femininity in the midst of poverty.

3. The Help
“Kindness don’t have no boundaries… Women should realise, we are just two people. Not that much separates us.” – The Help (Rephrased)

Exploring the ways in which racism pervaded every aspect of social life during the Civil Rights Movement, follow Skeeter (Emma Stone), an aspiring author who shares the stories of the African-American maids in her community. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard and more star in this moving film.

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4. Becoming Jane
“There are certainly not so many men of large fortune in the world, as there are pretty women to deserve them.” – Jane Austen

When everyone else was trying to fit in, Jane (Anne Hathaway) was the only one who stood out. Depicting the life of British Author Jane Austen, this visually stunning and delightful film explores the themes of family, loyalty and support. Follow Jane as she aspires to be a writer, but is conflicted by her parents who expect her to marry a wealthy man. Watch as she resists the threat to her freedom and goes against her parent’s expectations.

5. Harriet
“For no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.” – Harriet Tubman

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet (Cynthia Erivo), tells the tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and journey to free hundreds of slaves.

6. The Iron Lady
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” – Margaret Thatcher

Featuring Meryl Streep, this biographical film is based on the life and career of the first woman to hold office in the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher. With the themes of love and power, we witness the challenges of how she faced the supercilious and dismissive ranks of a male establishment.

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7. Hidden Figures
“Separate and equal are two different things. Just cause it’s the way, doesn’t make it right.” – Dorothy Vaughan

Follow the lives of three African-American mathematicians: Katherine Goble Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), as they work at NASA during the Space Race and face racial and gender discrimination.

8. The Devil Wears Prada
“Being alone has a power that very few people can handle.” – Miranda Priestly

Delve into the world of fashion and follow Andy (Anne Hathaway), an aspiring journalist, as she becomes an assistant to one of the city’s biggest magazine editors, the ruthless Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). The film portrays two different societal models of female power in society.

9. Miss Americana Taylor Swift
“There’s always some standard of beauty that you’re not meeting…Because if you’re thin enough, then you don’t have that ass that everybody wants, but if you have enough weight, then your stomach isn’t flat enough.” – Taylor Swift on realising herself and being comfortable in her own skin.

Ever wondered what it takes to be the world’s global recording artist three times in a row? Taylor Swift tells all in this revealing documentary as she shares the intimate details of her life and what goes on backstage.

10. Jane
“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” – Jane Goodall

For nature lovers, immerse yourself in never-before-seen footage and follow the story of Jane Goodall. From her early explorations to ground-breaking field work and relationships, this intimate portrait depicts the woman who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists.

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Films Closer to Home:

11. Sepet 

Directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad, the tale tells the love story between a Chinese boy, Ah Loong (Choo Seong Ng) and a Malay girl, Orked (Sharifah Armani). Reminding us that love has no boundaries, we see how Orked goes through the journey of love, forgiveness and tradition to express what is in her heart. The tale then continues in Gubra, the sequel.

12. Imaginur

Centred on the experience of people who have to take care of their loved ones with Alzheimer’s, Imaginur revolves around Zuhal (Beto Kusyairi), who is taking care of his father (Mior Hashim). As his life spins out of control, he turns to hypnosis and tries to get back on track. However, things get even more complicated when the girl from his dreams, Nur (Diana Danielle) appears in real life. As he tries to identify the mysterious woman, he begins to fall in love with her and she helps him learn more about himself.

Noteworthy highlight…

13. Pulau

Unlike the other movies in the list, Pulau is a horror story that doesn’t necessarily cover a women-based storyline. However, the local film features a powerful women cast. From Amelia Henderson, Sajna Suri, Joey Leong, Sabronzo, Evelyn Freoza and Ms. Puiyi, we highlight these women who continue to push boundaries and make a difference in their industry.

*All films were independently selected by the author.