agnès films Readers Honor Women’s History in New Social Media Poll

Developmentally Edited by Alexandra Hidalgo
Copy Edited and Posted by Megan Elias

In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked our readers on Facebook and Twitter to share their favorite films, documentaries, and TV shows that help us better understand women’s history. These stories showcase some of the myriad of contributions women have made to society, as well as how they have coped with their struggles and their successes.

If you think we missed a film, documentary, or show, tweet it to us @agnesfilms

A Historical photo of a woman and man behind a large camera tripod

Still from Be Natural, the top-voted film from our women’s history poll

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy Blaché (2018), dir. Pamela B. Green

Be Natural is a documentary that explores the legacy of one of the first filmmakers, Alice Guy Blaché. The film is part biography, part investigation, part homage. It tells the story of Guy Blaché’s life and explores why her contributions to cinema have been all but forgotten. Be Natural is available to rent on Prime Video.

Iron Jawed Angels (2004), dir. Katja von Garnier

Iron Jawed Angels tells the story of Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) and the 1917 Women’s Suffrage movement as they fight for the right to vote and run for office. These women risk their freedom and their lives as they have grown to know and love for their cause. Iron Jawed Angels is available to stream on Hulu and HBO.

Harriet (2019), dir. Kasi Lemmons

Harriet is a biopic that tells the story of the famous abolitionist, Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo). The film depicts Tubman’s escape from slavery and her bravery as she returns to the south time and time again to help other slaves escape on the Underground Railroad. Harriet is available to rent on Prime Video.

Hidden Figures (2016), dir. Theodore Melfi

Hidden Figures is a film based on the true story of three African American women mathematicians who worked at NASA – Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Their work was a vital part of the beginnings of the US space program. Hidden Figures is available to rent on YouTube

Corrupted footage of three teenagers holding a film clapper

Still from Shirkers, the fifth most-voted film of the poll

Shirkers (2018), dir. Sandi Tan

In 1992, college student Sandi Tan and two of her closest friends teamed up with their filmmaking instructor Georges Cardona to make Singapore’s first road movie. Cardona disappears, taking all the footage with him and leaving the three young women despondent over their lost work. Shirkers is a documentary in which Tan revisits the making of the film years later and attempts to discover why Cardona stole their work. Shirkers is available to watch on Netflix.

Other responses include (in alphabetical order):

Amazing Grace (2018), dir. Sydney Pollack, Alan Elliott
An Angel at My Table (1990), dir. Jane Campion
Ask Dr. Ruth (2019), dir. Ryan White
Beyond the Visible – Hilma af Klint (2019), dir. Halina Dyrschka
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017), dir. Alexandra Dean
Camille Claudel (1988), dir. Bruno Nuytten
Dolores (2017), dir. Peter Bratt
Elena (2012), dir. Petra Costa
Elsa la Rose (1966), dir. Agnès Varda
Erin Brockovich (2000), dir. Steven Soderbergh
For Sama (2019), dir. Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017), dir. Chris Moukarbel
Girl 27 (2007), dir. David Stenn
Harlan County, USA (1976), dir. Barbara Kopple
Honeyland (2019), dir. Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Judy (2019), dir. Rupert Goold
Knock Down the House (2019), dir. Rachel Lears

A political march with people holding signs to vote for Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Still from Knock Down the House, another popular film from our poll

Masters of Sex (2013), creator Michelle Ashford
Miss Americana (2020), dir. Lana Wilson
On the Basis of Sex (2018), dir. Mimi Leder
One Child Nation (2019), dir. Nanfu Wang, Lynn Zhang
Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), dir. Phillip Noyce
Roma (2018), dir. Alfonso Cuarón
Rosa Luxemburg (1986), dir. Margarethe von Trotta
Suffragette (2015), dir. Sarah Gavron
Surname Viet, Given Name Nam (1989), dir. Trinh T. Minh-ha
The Cave (2019), dir. Feras Fayyad
The Edge of Democracy (2019), dir. Petra Costa
The Help (2011), dir. Tate Taylor
The House of Mirth (2000), dir. Terence Davies
The Iron Lady (2011), dir. Phyllida Lloyd
The Rosa Parks Story (2002), dir. Julie Dash
Thelma and Louise (1991), dir. Ridley Scott
Whale Rider (2002), dir. Niki Caro

You can learn more about Kara by visiting her profile.