Fearless Feminist Reporter Nellie Bly Hits the Big Screen

Modern-day news consumers have long forgotten about 19th-century reporter Nellie Bly, despite the fact that she was the most impressive journalist of her time. Feminist, adventurer and ultimate risk-taker, she traveled around the world in 72 days, and pushed her way to the top of the male-dominated news industry. But she did her most impressive […]

Meet the Sex-Trafficking Survivor Who’s Battling Prostitution

Toward the end of award-winning director Kim Longinotto’s new documentary, Dreamcatcher, the film’s subject, Brenda Myers-Powell, stands onstage in front of a room full of mostly women. Confident, passionate and determined, Brenda speaks to the gathered conference attendees and encourages them to keep an open mind. She’s brought a guest, Homer, a former pimp and sex trafficker, […]

How Chanel and Tribeca’s New Program for Women Filmmakers Falls Short

Just a few years ago, not many people were aware that the employment numbers of women directors in America was “criminally low.” The discussion about the exclusion and censorship of female voices from our nation’s media had not yet taken hold. Today, thanks to the powerful support of the ACLU and a strong surge of […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part 9: Be Careful What You Wish For

Apparently the spirits of Halloween can be quick to respond this time of year, because no sooner did I wish for a Gothic horror-based film that enables its young heroine to save herself and even her family without the help of men, whether dead or alive, than I found one on Netflix: Haunter, starring Abigail Breslin, is this […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part 8: Beware of Crimson Peak

Author’s Note: If the thing that scares you most is disagreement among feminists, you might not want to read this post—fellow feminist film buff Natalie Wilson gave this movie a glowing review on the Ms. Blog last week. Surely a well-cast hex or two will bring Ms. Wilson over to my side… I am the first […]

10 Awesome Feminist Films From the ’90s

The 1990s were a decade of witchy fashion, Tamagotchis, glitter pens and pop stars. Although many glorious (or terrible—you decide) trends came out of the ’90s, my all-time favorite was, hello, riot grrrl and other ’90s-era feminisms. During that decade, many artists used film as a tool to critically examine political and social issues using a feminist lens. Although some […]

Guillermo Goes Gothic in the Grrrl-Powered Crimson Peak

WARNING: SPOILERS Forget the phallic-tongued vampires populating The Strain and go for the sumptuously Gothic Crimson Peak. As with Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is a woman-centered and driven narrative brimming with claustrophobic imagery and red-hued horror. While Pan’s Labyrinth incorporated fairytale structure and imagery to tell a political tale of post-civil war Spain, Crimson Peak draws on the gothic genre to meditate on the dangers of inherited class privilege. More […]

Freeheld Beautifully Captures the Notion that “Love Is Love”

Love is forged in small moments. Like ragged bits of bottles polished into sea glass, Freeheld‘s lead characters, Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and Stacie Andree (Ellen Page), are rugged and tough, tumbled unwittingly by societal pressures and personal illness into gems fighting for LGBTQ equality. In one early scene in the film—which is based on the true […]

Muted Explores What Happens When Black Girls Go Missing

What happens when a young girl of color goes missing? Who searches for her? Who tries to bring her home safely? Not the police, as the short film Muted shows. Even though it’s only 18 minutes long, Muted packs a serious emotional gut punch as the viewer is taken into the terror-stricken world of single black […]

He Named Me Malala Shows the Making of an Activist Icon

Due to the actions of a young girl from the Swat Valley of Pakistan, the name Malala has become synonymous with bravery and strength. What most people may not know is that Malala Yousafzai’s namesake already had that meaning. Malalai of Maiwand was another teenage warrior who rose to prominence in the late 19th century. Her self-sacrifice on […]