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Five Feminist Films to Get You Through Finals

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December 5, 2014

With finals just around the corner for many college students, as Paul said, it’s a time of high stress and lots of studying. But everyone deserves a break once in a while and when that break does come I know that I love watching movies. So I thought I’d give y’all a list of my top 5 feminist movies that I’ve enjoyed in my spare time (more like enjoyed when I should be studying).

These aren’t going to be in any particular order because that would be impossible.

1.) A League of Their Own
This was one of my favorite movies to watch growing up. Although it is fiction, it tells the tale of women who were a part of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League during World War II. It’s completely woman centered, even being directed by a woman, Penny Marshall.  One of my favorite traits is that it really develops the relationship between the two main sisters Dottie Hinson, played by Geena Davis and Kit Keller, played by Lori Petty. It also has a young Rosie O’Donnell in it who is one of my favorites.

2.) The Punk Singer*
This documentary tells the story of 90’s Riot Grrrl singer Kathleen Hanna. Even if you aren’t familiar with her bands Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin I still recommend watching this film because it’s jam-packed with activism and tells the story of women who were at the forefront of the the third-wave of feminism. Through her music Hanna tackled subjects such as sexual abuse, sexuality, and female agency openly and honestly which then empowered an entire movement.

3.) Girl Model*
This film is also a documentary that follows two opposite sides of the modeling industry; Ex-model Ashley who now recruits girls for an industry in Tokyo and Nadya, one of Ashley’s recruitments from Siberia. The film focuses on Ashley’s inner struggle between her understanding of the pain and coercion that Nayda will face in the industry that she herself is introducing her to, and doing her job.

4.) Miss Representation*
Being a mass communication major I’m always fascinated by the current media climate and it’s representation (or lack thereof) of marginalized groups. This 2011 film, although now a bit dated, is still very realistic in its discussion of women in positions of leadership whether that be in the government, in the media, or in the job market in general. According to their website  The Representation Project, who made the film, have to a goal to “use film and media content to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes and to shift people’s consciousness towards change. Interactive campaigns, strategic partnerships and education initiatives inspire individuals and communities to challenge the status quo and ultimately transform culture so everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, or circumstance can fulfill their potential.”

5.) After Tiller*
This documentary, probably the most serious of the bunch, focuses on the physicians who have now become targets in the anti-abortion movement. It primarily follows the only four remaining doctors in the United States who perform late term abortions. The film get its title from Dr. George Tiller who was assassinated in 2009 for performing late term abortions.

Feel free to comment below with some of your favorite feminist films!

*Films that are available on Netflix

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