Celebrate this Women’s Week with some of Carlotta Facchini’s suggested movies directed by female filmmakers.
In 2020, according to the CNC, women only represented 23% of the total number of French directors. And only 10,6% of the 100 first movies in the American box-office were filmed by women in 2019, reports the University of Southern California. However, among those very few movies created by women, I have a few favorites. I have cried, laughed, and felt hope from the movies of which you may have never heard of. Therefore, I have decided to present some of them to you. These movies are all available online and have English subtitles. The short movies are further available for free on Vimeo.
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché by Pamela B. Green (2018)
Pamela B. Green tells the story of Alice Guy-Blaché, who directed the first fictional movie and thereafter was completely forgotten. She travels around the world to find people who met Alice Guy or have objects linked to her. Watch this documentary to discover the woman who revolutionized the film industry (and even created it!).
The Perfect Candidate by Haifaa Al Mansour (2020)
Mariam, a doctor in a small city in Saudi Arabia, wants to become a surgeon at a reputed hospital in Riyad. But, to take the plane, she needs an authorization from her unavailable father. Towards the end, she becomes a candidate for the municipal elections to get what she needs and wants.
A Long Walk by Chinonye Chukwu (2014)
TW: Violence and suicide
To punish his son for wearing a dress and some make-up, a conservative dad forces him to parade around the neighborhood in that attire. This short movie shows the consequences of this traumatic event.
Watch it here: https://vimeo.com/99293805
La Chute by Maya Gering (2018)
Maya Gering loses her hair because of an illness. In her short movie, she shows how women who have lost their hair are considered taboo in our society and the effects of such convictions.
Watch it here: https://vimeo.com/283521353
The Farewell by Lulu Wang (2020)
Billi is kind of lost. She tries to be a writer and to make her family proud, but her beloved grandmother is very sick. Her family organizes a fake wedding to reunite everybody before her death, without telling her that she is sick. Billi does not understand this Chinese tradition but she will have to accept it to see her grandmother one last time and reconnect with her family.
Watch it here: https://www.universcine.com/films/l-adieu
Us and Them by René Liu (2018)
Two strangers meet on a train on New Year’s Eve. They become friends and later fall in love. The movie follows them on a 10 year journey. They are separated, reunited, and separated again. The director both uses black and white and color to symbolize these separations. A beautiful movie.
Watch it here: Us and Them | Site officiel de Netflix
Ming by Danski Tang (2017)
A short movie about the experience of a Chinese woman who worked as a naked model in Canada.
Watch it here: https://vimeo.com/218093077
The Beaches of Agnès by Agnès Varda (2008)
Somewhere between fiction and a documentary, this movie is a semi-autobiography of the famous French director, Agnès Varda. Very poetic and full of emotions. Her most beautiful movie in my opinion!
Watch it here: https://bit.ly/2MCJiDI
Contact by Katy Wang (2017)
A cosmonaut is lost in the middle of space. His spaceship crashed on an unknown planet. A wonderful short movie about loneliness.
Watch it here: https://vimeo.com/279236253
Saving Face by Alice Wu (2004)
A love story between two American women of Chinese origins in New York.
Watch it here: https://lc.cx/m2g5
What is beauty? By Anna Ginsburg (2018)
An animated short movie about the evolution of beauty standards through 30 000 years of history. It shows how quickly they change and that all bodies are beautiful.
Watch it here: https://goo.gl/75yadY
You can agree or disagree with these movies, like or hate them, but please do not let them be forgotten. Watch movies directed by women, talk about them, debate them, recommend them and in doing so, pass on their legacies.