By Kaylee Brewsterkbrewster@lmtribune.com
March is Women’s History Month, and in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, women’s issues are in the spotlight of a national conversation.
To mark Women’s History Month, here are a few films with female stories onscreen and behind the scenes to inspire and entertain.
Mahavir Singh Phogat’s dreams of having a son wrestle for his country are dashed when he has only daughters. He decides to teach two of his daughters wrestling. They compete against other boys twice their size and start to win. The true story of Geeta (Fatima Sana Shaikh) and Babita (Sanya Malhotra) breaks gender roles and celebrates athleticism to the tune of some catchy Bollywood music. (Streaming on Netflix)
Taraji P. Henson plays Katherine G. Johnson, one of many black women who helped send the first U.S. astronaut to the moon. Fighting against racism and sexism, they use their brains to achieve the seemingly impossible. The film has inspired a movement for women in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, including a U.S. State Department program called #HiddenNoMore that will bring women in science and math careers from around the world to the U.S. to cultivate their talent. (Streaming on HBO Now)
The iconic female superhero comes to the screen showing off all her power in a World War I setting. The movie is stunningly filmed and shows off Wonder Woman’s strength — both physical and emotional. A critical and box office success, it made director Patty Jenkins the highest-paid female director. (Streaming on HBO Now)
Amanda (Katharine Hepburn) and Adam (Spencer Tracy) are happily married but end up on the opposite sides of the law when a woman is accused of attempting to kill her adulterous husband. Amanda defends the woman in court. Adam prosecutes her. Even though the film was made in 1949, it remains relevant in the way it handles gender politics and roles. (Not available for streaming, but can be rented or purchased through numerous online platforms)
FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olson) gets help from a professional tracker, Cory (Jeremy Renner) to solve a murder on the Wind River reservation. The film highlights crimes against American Indian women and the lack of response in solving them. Director Taylor Sheridan bought back the film from the Weinstein Company after Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse allegations became public. Now all proceeds go to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, a nonprofit program that addresses domestic violence and safety for American Indian Women. (Streaming on Netflix)
“A League of Their Own”
Many are familiar with this story of the all-female baseball league that reminds us “there’s no crying in baseball.” But this film also tells the story of real-life female athletes and the triumphs and trials they faced as women in the world of baseball. (Streaming on Hulu)
Disney’s take on the woman who saved her father from war, and later all of China, is beautifully animated with catchy and emotional music. Mulan (voiced by Ming-Na Wen) is brave and strategic in her military service, bending the rules for what it means to be a woman. (Streaming on Netflix)
Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) is the latest Disney princess to grace the screen, and she is a hero all her own. With faith, courage, compassion and a little help from a demi-god, she travels the ocean to save her island and her people. A soundtrack written by Lin-Manuel Miranda adds to the enjoyment. (Streaming on Netflix)