Women’s History Month started in 1981, and it only lasted for a week. However, since 1995, the celebration has taken over the entire month of March! And today, we celebrate Women’s History Month by showcasing and honoring the women in history who’ve made an impact on our world.
One of our favorite ways to celebrate is by watching films that tell the stories of these incredible women and the amazing things they did for their communities, the world, and humankind as a whole. So we’ve put together a list of films that we’re watching for Women’s History Month, and we hope you’ll join us for a few movie nights!
Hidden Figures (2016) is loosely based on the non-fiction book of the same name, authored by Margot Lee Shetterly. The plot revolves around the story of several incredible African-American mathematicians (including Katherine Johnson), who worked for NASA during the Space Race era.
In the film, Taraji P. Henderson plays a young Katherine Johnson, who, along with her team, helped to launch John Glenn into orbit. Johnson was one of the few female African-Americans chosen for NASA’s programs. And aside from the mission featured in the film, Johnson also worked on a number of projects worthy of mention – including a trajectory analysis for America’s first human spaceflight. She and engineer Ted Skopinski co-authored a report that laid out equations describing an orbital spaceflight specifying the landing positions of a spacecraft. Pretty inspiring right?
You can stream the Hidden Figures on Hulu + Live TV or FX Network.
Coco Before Chanel (2009) is directed and co-written by Anne Fontaine. The film tells the story of a young Gabrielle Chanel before she became a fashion icon. From how she got her start in the industry to how she became known as Coco Chanel, the film will pull you in, enchant you, and pull at your heartstrings.
From Chanel’s humble upbringing to so many of the obstacles she faced (and ultimately conquered), you’ll have a newfound love and respect for fashion’s biggest icon.
You can rent or buy Coco Before Chanel through Amazon Prime.
Radioactive is a British biographical film that premiered at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival. However, it won’t release in the U.S. until April 2020. The film follows the life of Marie Curie (played by Rosamund Pike) and her impact on the fields of science and technology.
If you’re not familiar with Curie’s accomplishments, she was the scientist who discovered radioactivity. Alongside her husband, Pierre Curie, they discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium. After her husband died, Curie also advocated for the development of x-rays, and she also helped to develop portable x-ray machines that they called “Little Curies.”
Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, and she’s also the first person to have won two of the awards! In fact, she’s the only individual to have won two awards in different sciences – physics and chemistry.
Find out more about her life in Radioactive this April.
Becoming Jane is directed by Julian Jarrold, and, as you probably guessed, tells the story of the early years of Jane Austen (played beautifully by Anne Hathaway). While Austen’s books (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, etc.) were the storybook romances so many of us grew up reading, Austen’s life followed a bit of a different course.
Although not popular during her time, Austen’s romantic novels began gaining popularity around the late 1800s and have since become even more popular. Today, her novels are considered to be literary classics, and furthermore, she’s considered to be one of the greatest writers in history.
You can rent or buy the film on Amazon Prime, Youtube, and iTunes.
Frida (2002) is directed by Julie Taymor and tells the story of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, played by Salma Hayek. The movie not only shows the professional life of Kahlo but even dives into her personal life – which had some pretty horrific events in it.
Frida Kahlo is considered to be one of Mexico’s greatest artists and is admired to this day for her feminism. After marrying Diego Rivera, she became very politically active. She exhibited her paintings throughout Paris and Mexico before her death in 1954. After her death, the feminist movement of the 70s brought back the interest of her life and her work.
Of course, there are many ways to celebrate Women’s History Month along with International Women’s Day, which was held on March 8. The best way, though, is to celebrate the incredible women you have around you in your life – your mother, grandmothers, sisters, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
Alyson Pittman is a contributing writer for WBD and a JR marketing associate for Excite Creative Studios, an Atlanta-based creative agency.
Alyson graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. She was in multiple organizations at KSU where she held leadership positions. As a part of the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, Alyson held the Social Coordinator position and planned/promoted large events.