Historically, the contributions of women have often been underrepresented. As part of Women’s History Month, Kanopy has curated a collection of films that feature female innovators, pioneers, and trailblazers and their respective contributions to science, politics, art, and society at large. To explore these titles, visit go.kanopy.com/whm.
A group of determined Midwestern women begin providing safe but illegal abortions in this 1960s period drama based on a true story.
Girls around the world – striving beyond circumstance, pushing past limits. Their dreams, their voices, their remarkable stories – captured in an unforgettable feature film about the strength of the human spirit – and the power of education.
The award-winning documentary film The Girls in the Band tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, history-making journeys from the late 30s to the present day. The many first-hand accounts of the challenges faced by these talented women provide a glimpse into decades of racism and sexism that have existed in America.
The staff of a black hair salon fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from black culture.
This celebrated film follows female directors working in Hollywood. Half the Picture uses the current EEOC investigation into discriminatory hiring practices as a framework to talk to these successful women directors about their career paths, struggles, inspiration and hopes for the future.
In the award-winning Hannah Arendt, the sublime Barbara Sukowa reteams with director Margarethe von Trotta for a brilliant new biopic of the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist. Arendt’s reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker–controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils–introduced her now-famous concept of the “Banality of Evil.”
This dark and wickedly fun short film stars Maika Monroe as a woman whose deepest fears seem to manifest physically when her husband, played by Stranger Things star Joe Keery, leaves for the night shift. How to be Alone is the first film from writer/director Kate Trefry who writes on Stranger Things. Selected at SXSW 2019.
When a global blackout suddenly plunges the world into complete chaos, two courageous sisters (Elliot Page and Evan Rachel Wood) and their loving father must fight to survive in this riveting apocalyptic thriller.
Set in medieval Iceland, The Juniper Tree follows Margit (Bjork) and her older sister Katla as they flee for safety after their mother is burned to death for witchcraft. Finding shelter and protection with Johan, and his resentful young son, Jonas, the sisters help form an impromptu family unit that’s soon strained by Katla’s burgeoning sorcery.
Angela Merkel has become a global icon and yet remains an enigma. Her absolute professionalism, her determination to protect her private life and to reduce her press statements to a minimum have made her elusive. Who really knows Angela Merkel? What kind of woman is she? And what legacy does she leave us? In this exclusive film, we go in search of the real Angela Merkel.
Against the backdrop of 1941 London, Little Bird explores how far one young woman with a secret will go, to expand her limited horizons and herself, when the women of Great Britain are called upon to aid the war effort.
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
With unprecedented access, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace Dr. Angelou’s incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words.
Not Done: Women Remaking America
The women’s movement has gone mainstream: from the Women’s March to Black Lives Matter to #MeToo. Premiering amid a pandemic and widespread social upheaval, Not Done shines a light on today’s feminists paving the way for true equality.
A Perfect 14 explores the world of plus size models fighting to reshape the fashion industry and the beauty standards of society. The film follows the journeys of models Elly Mayday (Canada), Kerosene Deluxe (Netherlands) and Laura Wells (Australia) as they struggle against our culture’s distorted perception of body image, and questions the fashion industry leaders and pioneers and holds them accountable for their responsibility in size-based segregation.
Set in 1982, Permanent centers around the newly relocated Dickson family. In this hilariously awkward story the Dicksons are struggling through major life changes together all the while trying desperately to emerge intact on the other side.
The Right Girls is a documentary film which follows three young transgender women who trek across Mexico as part of the high-profile migrant caravan of 2018. Teaming up in southern Mexico with the goal of reaching the U.S. border, the girls find themselves hitching rides and jumping trucks, anything to complete the long journey north. Their LGBTQ status continues to make them targets. Adding to their struggle to find food is the constant challenge to stay safe.
Acclaimed director Kelly Reichardt’s (Certain Women) first film follows Cozy and Lee, lovers who are as criminally inclined (and hopelessly incompetent) as they come. Ironically, their robbery spree gets disrupted when they find themselves running from the police for a crime they didn’t commit.
Salam (Hana Chamoun) is a Lyft driver from a tight knit family. A portion of her family lives in Syria. When her New York based family gets word of a bombing in Syria, it’s a waiting game to know if their loved ones are ok. To rest her nerves, Salam decides to go to work. She picks up Audrey (Leslie Bibb), who seems to be in distress herself. The exchange that follows is a layered interaction of surface expectations versus what’s really underneath the surface of our daily lives.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
A provocative, rousing and often humorous account of the birth of the modern women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s through to its contemporary manifestations in the new millennium, direct from the women who lived it.
This documentary explores the passionate pursuits of Black women entrepreneurs. She Did That offers a peek inside the lives of Black women committed to opening doors for future generations.
Test Pattern follows an interracial couple whose relationship is put to the test after a Black woman is sexually assaulted and her white boyfriend drives her from hospital to hospital in search of a rape kit. Their story reveals the systemic injustices and social conditioning women face when navigating sex and consent within the American patriarchy.
Three grown sisters, Maribel, Leticia and Carmen try to cope and live with the fact that their father Martin, a veteran chef, is slowly losing his sense of taste. Martin has one simple rule: be at home for Sunday dinner and attendance is both mandatory and non-negotiable. A rift in the family develops when the sisters develop relationships and an obnoxious woman sets her sights on Martin’s affections.
Vice President Kamala Harris: Chase the Dream
Follow the journey of Kamala Harris, the first black woman and South Asian American to serve as the Vice President of the United States as she Chased the Dream from classroom to courtroom, and now to the White House.
For over two decades, Frances Marion was one of the most powerful names Hollywood, writing more than 200 scripts to become the world’s highest paid screenwriter. Stars like Pickford, Garbo, Gable and Dressler sought to bring her characters to life, leading her to become the first screenwriter to win two Oscars(r). Now, her fascinating story come alive in this insightful documentary narrated by acclaimed actresses Uma Thurman and Kathy Bates, accompanying footage from more than twenty of Marion’s films and commentary by silent film historian Kevin Brownlow, critic Leonard Maltin and Marion’s celebrated biographer, Cari Beauchamp.
Woman is a worldwide project giving a voice to 2000 women across 50 different countries. Despite its very large scale, the film offers an intimate portrait of those who constitute half of the humanity. It is an opportunity to shed light on the injustices women are subjected to all over the world, but what Woman would like to underline most is the inner strength of women and their capacity to change the world despite all the difficulties they are facing. In this new era where women’s voices resonate more and more, the aim of the film is not only to call for rights or focus on problems, but to find solutions and try to reconcile the two genders. The project deals with topics such as motherhood, education, marriage or financial independence but also menstruations or sexuality.