Selma Shows Why We Need More Black Women Filmmakers

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Last year was a stellar one for black women filmmakers. First, there was Amma Asante’s exquisitely filmed Belle (starring an impressive Gugu Mbatha-Raw), followed later by Gina Prince-Bythewood’s emotionally layered Beyond the Lights (also starring Mbatha-Raw). The year finally closed out with Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed historical drama, Selma. However, while Belle was summarily dismissed by movie critics as a “black Jane […]

The Many Truths of “Selma”

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Instead of getting lost in the “fact” checking about whose depiction of President Lyndon B. Johnson is correct, let us get clear about the important lessons that the film Selma can teach us all—especially white people. White racism was and is ugly and murderous. Black civil rights activists were courageous and willing to die for […]

The Year of the Fighter: The Top 10 Feminist Films of 2014

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Hollywood has long been a boy’s club, but this year, women made a dent in the door. From bow-wielding revolutionaries to outspoken intellectuals to ordinary women with the will to change the world, women warriors, both onscreen and off, challenged audiences to reimagine women as masters of their own destinies. Though the battle is far […]

Unbroken: Jolie’s Testament to the Human Spirit

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Starvation, deprivation and torture permeate Unbroken, making director Angelina Jolie’s film (based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book), one that invokes flinches, jerks, audible gasps and covering one’s eyes. The edge-of-the-seat opening sequence, set in a B-24 bomber that is being shot apart above the Pacific Ocean, captures the noise of war as well as the heart-pumping […]

The “Both/And” Celebration of “Into the Woods”

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The film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical Into the Woods should please feminist lovers of musicals, fairy tales and narratives that don’t take themselves too seriously. The film, like the play, pokes fun at our all-too-human wishes and failed quests and, oh joy of joys, suggests heteromonogamy is the true tall […]

The Final Hobbit Film: One Kick-Ass Chick Among the Sausagefest

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You like battle scenes? You’ll probably like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the last of director Peter Jackson’s six films based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Battle scenes make up the majority of the 144-minute film—and that doesn’t even count preparing for battles and talking about battles. Though there are some […]

In Bed with Susan Sontag

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In Regarding Susan Sontag, a deliciously dark and brooding documentary about the fiercely private but publicly fierce writer and activist, filmmaker Nancy D. Kates shares lesser-known details of Sontag’s personal life. She uses interviews with past lovers and close friends, archival footage and excerpts from Sontag’s most culturally resonant and prescient works, including On Photography […]

Opening Soon in L.A. and N.Y.: Inspiring Doc About Late-60s Women’s Movement

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This month, filmmaker and activist Mary Dore shares her feminist film masterpiece with the world: She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry. Featuring rarely seen archival footage, photographs, uniquely feminist texts and music (The Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band? Yes, please!), the film offers an inspiring account of the women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s. The Ms. […]

Vampires, Skateboards and Autonomy: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

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Director/writer Ana Lily Amirpour’s mixture of pulp fiction, Iranian New Wave Cinema and horror has created a beautiful dark fairy tale of a dangerous yet heroic she-vampire who swiftly kicks ass when needed. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is shot in black and white and set in an eerie ghost town called Bad […]

Top 10 Feminist Documentaries Streaming on Netflix

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Here at Ms., we’re always on the hunt for feminist documentaries and love showcasing them on the blog and in Ms. magazine. Feminist filmmakers telling the stories of women in new and interesting ways help to push women’s issues into the cultural mainstream and highlight societal problems that otherwise may have been overlooked. And these […]