11 Netflix movies that will motivate and inspire you for Women's History Month
March has officially arrived and spring is in the air, meaning it’s time to put away those hot toddies (just kidding, never do that) and focus on celebrating Women’s History Month.
Now of course, there are a whole lot of things happening politically in America right this second that are absolutely terrifying for women. It’s easy to feel depressed and/or overwhelmed about the sheer magnitude of what is happening, which is why we’ve occasionally leaned on pop culture to motivate and inspire us when we find ourselves lacking.
Below, our expertly curated list of 11 movies — currently available to stream on Netflix — that will motivate and inspire you throughout the month.
Tangerine is both a delightfully sharp friendship comedy and a groundbreaking achievement for trans women in front of the camera. Check it out immediately, then immediately call your reps to take action against anti-trans legislation.
We’re all about women pioneers in science, both in real life and onscreen. Robert Zemeckis’ Contact — a precursor to Arrival if ever there was one – tells the story of one such pioneer, Jodie Foster’s Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Ann Arroway. It’s a beautiful movie about humanity and exploration and grief, and should be very, very high on your list if you want to feel inspired by brilliant women.
Since both women and journalism are currently under attack from our president, why not support both by watching Rachel McAdams’ real-life investigative reporter, Sacha Pfeiffer, expose sexual abuse in the Catholic church? Spotlight will make you subscribe to your city paper immediately after watching, which will then help out real-life hard-working female journalists, so you’re totally saving the fourth estate just by pressing “play.”
4 What Happened, Miss Simone?
Nothing says Women’s History Month like a documentary on Nina Simone — one of the past century’s greatest artists, and a beautiful woman who celebrated her blackness.
5 Working Girl
Sure, Sigourney Weaver steals her underling Melanie Griffith’s business ideas in this one, allowing Harrison Ford to swoop in and save Melanie’s day. But Working Girl is still a seriously fun movie, and a nice reminder that as bad as things can seem for women in the workplace now, they’re not as bad as they were in the ’80s…unless you work at Uber, Kay, or Jared.
6 Paris is Burning
Director Jennie Livingston’s documentary on LGBTQ ball culture in New York City was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry with good reason. It’s a fascinating look at intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality during the AIDS epidemic, and also — of course — features really awesome drag balls.
7 Blue is the Warmest Color
Yes, Blue is the Warmest Color is a movie about lesbians directed by a man, and that is unfortunate. But the relationship at the center of the movie still feels groundbreaking and completely real, and lead actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux make the film worth watching.
Queen Ava DuVernay’s documentary about how mass incarceration and the war on drugs have perpetuated slavery in America isn’t an easy watch, but it’s a crucial one, especially for white feminists who have yet to spend time researching intersectional issues.
9 Short Term 12
Woke queen Brie Larson stars in Short Term 12, a beautiful indie movie that is also a powerful reminder of what one woman’s selflessness can do.
10 Audrie & Daisy
Another difficult-but-important documentary, Audrie & Daisy focuses on rape and cyberbullying in American high schools.
Once the 10 films above have you swearing off men forever, check out Chicago, which is literally about women getting away with killing them.