This International Women's Day, we couldn't help but think about the strong women in film who left us in awe and have inspired us to become the better version of ourselves. Whether we came from different countries or our roles in the society differ from everyone else's, these films surely awakened the #strongwoman in us like never before. We're not trying to debate feminism here, though (don't get us wrong), since it is not meant to be discussed, but to be lived.
These beautifully crafted films are a must-see not only because they featured strong women from all walks of life, but because their stories are meant to be heard.
Here are the films about these women that you need to see ASAP.
Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire (Ramona Lofton), this drama film needs no introduction. Claireece Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) is a 16-year-old living in the ghetto of New York City: Harlem. She's suffering from being sexually abused by her own father - which resulted in two pregnancies. Precious tries to escape her reality through daydreaming that she is loved by her family. This story not only talks about poverty and physical abuse, but about that universal pursuit to freedom and wholeness.
THE LADY IN THE VAN
'The Lady in the Van' is based on a true story of Mary Shepherd (played by Maggie Smith), an elderly woman who lived on Alan Bennett's driveway for 15 years. The story subtly shows how poverty acts as a blanket that covers the individuality of a person, creating division that leads to unrecognition of these people in our lives who can actually leave an impact if we only dare listen.
Originally written for a 1999 West End play by Bennett and was directed on stage by Nicholas Hytner at the Queen's Theatre in London, 'The Lady in the Van' will surely make you think twice about all the strangers you've met in your life.
Directed by Bollywood director Nitesh Tiwari (Chillar Party), 'Dangal' is a biographical sports film about the lives of the siblings and female wrestlers Geeta Phogat, India's first female wrestler to have won the gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and Babita Kumari, gold medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The film highlights the struggles Indian athletes face and their impressive grit despite their government's unsupportiveness towards pursuing their craft.
Aamir Khan stars as Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former wrestler and strict father of Geeta and Babita who never gave up on training them.
QUEEN OF KATWE
Directed by the Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair (Amelia) and written by William Wheeler (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), another biographical sports film is 'Queen of Katwe'. This film talks about the life of Ugandan girl, Phiona Mutesi, who became fascinated with the game of chess at the age of 10. In her motivation to escape poverty since she grew up in the slums of Katwe, she mastered the game and became the first female champion in Uganda's chess history.
Another book-turned-film is 'The Help' which is about the black maids working for white households during the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. Directed by Tate Taylor (The Girl on the Train), the film revolves around the stories of three women, namely: Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis), Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone). The story daringly discusses racism, women's rights, and physical abuse that you have to ready a box of Kleenex if you're going to watch it!
If someone asks you, "Which film should I watch?" - you know what to say.