MIAMI, United States. – In the context of the fight for gender equality, cinema has proven to be a powerful tool to make visible and question inequalities and stereotypes. That’s why, CubaNet presents a list of 10 great films that hail from diverse cultures and eras, and share a feminist core that makes them unmissable.
In addition, the selected films – just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger production – offer a wide variety of stories and perspectives that invite reflection and debate on social justice. From historical dramas to comedies to arthouse films, there is something on this list for everyone and anyone who wants to learn more about feminism.
Thelma and Louise (1991) – Dir. Ridley Scott
This iconic film follows two friends, Thelma and Louise, who decide to go on a road trip that brings them face to face with a world dominated by men. The film addresses issues such as female friendship, self-determination, and the fight against gender oppression.
Lucía (1968) – Dir. Humberto Solás
The only Cuban film included in this list is a masterpiece of feminist and Latin American cinema. Through three different stories, starring women named Lucía at different moments in Cuban history, Solás addresses issues such as gender oppression, liberation, and female empowerment.
Promising Young Woman / A promising young woman (2020) – Dir. Emerald Fennell
This contemporary film follows Cassie, a woman seeking revenge after a tragic event in her life. With a clever script and a masterful performance from Carey Mulligan, the film tackles issues of gender-based violence and consent, while questioning societal expectations of women.
A Fantastic Woman (2017) – Dir. Sebastián Lelio
This Chilean drama follows Marina, a transgender woman who faces discrimination and rejection after the death of her partner. The film deals with issues such as gender identity, equality and the fight for dignity in a society that often marginalizes transgender people.
The Suffragettes (2015) – Dir. Sarah Gavron
This historical drama focuses on the suffrage movement in the United Kingdom at the turn of the 20th century. The film follows various women fighting for voting rights and gender equality, highlighting the courage and perseverance of suffragettes in their fight for social justice.
9 to 5 / From 9 to 5 (1980) – Dir. Colin Higgins
This classic comedy follows three female employees who band together to get back at their misogynistic boss and create a more equal work environment. Featuring memorable performances from Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton, the film tackles issues like job discrimination and sorority.
Women talking / Ellas hablando (2022) – Dir. Sarah Polley
This dramatic film written and directed by Canadian Sarah Polley is based on a novel of the same name inspired by the rapes that occurred in Colonia Manitoba, a remote and isolated Mennonite community in Bolivia. After years of abuse, dozens of women discover that they were drugged and raped in their sleep by men from their community. The film deals with issues such as sexual abuse and gender violence, but also female empowerment.
The Fountain of Women (2011) – Dir. Radu Mihaileanu
This Franco-Belgian film follows a group of women in a small Middle Eastern town who decide to go on a love strike until the men of the town help build an aqueduct to give them access to water. The film addresses issues such as gender inequality, female solidarity and the fight for social justice in a specific cultural context.
Mulan (1998) – Dir. Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook
This Disney animated film tells the story of Mulan, a young Chinese woman who cross-dresses to join the army in her father’s place. Throughout the film, Mulan defies gender expectations and demonstrates her bravery and skills, stressing the importance of equality and self-determination.
The Hours (2002) – Dir. Stephen Daldry
Based on the novel by Michael Cunningham, this film follows the intertwined lives of three women at different points in history, including the writer Virginia Woolf. The film explores issues such as mental health, gender oppression, and the search for authenticity and personal fulfillment.