Earlier this month I hosted Cherchez la Femme: Feminism and Film with the beautiful Cerise Howard, Claire Henry and Rohan Spong as my intrepid panelists. Before the event I talked to the CLF community about assembling an introductory viewing list of feminist films. I asked stuff like: are they made or written by a woman, are they expressly about women, do they have strong or believable female characters, did they politicise you into feminism, do they have a female gaze, or a feminist sensibility? and this is what I got. It far surpassed my expectations in terms of scope, length and content and I’ve watched lots of these since. Of course, you’ll feel there are ommissions or inclusions you don’t agree with and that’s what the comments section is for. Have at it!

Winter’s Bone Debra Granik

Dirty Dancing Emile Ardolino

Wayne’s World Penelope Spheeris

Dogville Lars Von Trier



Dancer in the Dark


Breaking the Waves

Fish Tank Andrea Arnold

Red Road

Anatomy of Hell Catherine Breillat


A Ma Soeur (For My Sister) aka Fat Girl

Love Serenade Shirley Barrett

Near Dark Kathryn Bigelow

Point Break

Hurt Locker

Blue Steel

The Women George Cukor

The Philadelphia Story

The Hours Stephen Daldry

Teeth Michael Lichtenstein

Sweetie Jane Campion

An Angel at My Table

The Piano

In The Cut

The Portrait of a Lady

Nine to Five Colin Higgins

She Devil Susan Seidelman

The First Wives Club Hugh Wilson

Little Women Gillian Armstrong

My Brilliant Career

Pride and Prejudice Joe Wright

Girlfight Karyn Kusama

Jackie Brown Quentin Tarantino

Kill Bill Volume 1

Beaches Garry Marshall

Hannah and Her Sisters Woody Allen

Thelma and Louise Ridley Scott

G.I. Jane


Aliens James Cameron

Terminator II

Erin Brockovich Steven Soderbergh

Bandit Queen Shekhar Kapur


The Golden Age

Norma Rae Martin Ritt

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane Robert Aldrich

Bridesmaids Paul Feig

Baby Boom Charles Shyer

House of Flying Daggers Yimou Zhang

Raise the Red Lantern

The Handmaid’s Tale Volker Schlondorff

Working Girl Mike Nichols


Ginger Snaps John Fawcett

Cleo from 5 to 7 Agnes Varda


All About My Mother Pedro Almodovar

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Random Harvest Mervyn LeRoy

XXY Lucia Puenzo

Different for Girls Richard Spence

T is for Teacher Rohan Spong

All the Way Through Evening

We of the Never Never Igor Auzins

Morven Callar Lynne Ramsay

Jeanne Dielman Chantal Akerman

Office Killer Cindy Sherman

Safe Todd Haynes

Far From Heaven

Mildred Pierce

Thirteen Catherine Hardwicke

I Spit on Your Grave Steven R Monroe

Drag Me to Hell Sam Raimi

Wendy and Lucy Kelly Reichardt

Meek’s Cutoff

Ponyo Hayao Miyazaki

Princess Mononoke

Spirited Away

Clueless Amy Heckerling

The Hunger Games Gary Ross

Hiroshima Mon Amour Alain Resnais

India Song Marguerite Duras

Monsoon Wedding Mira Nair


The Virgin Suicides Sofia Coppola

Lost in Translation

Drowning by Numbers Peter Greenaway

Whip It Drew Barrymore

Bring It On Peyton Reed

Juno Jason Reitman

The Way We Were Sydney Pollack

Cabaret Bob Fosse

American Psycho Mary Harron

Terms of Endearment James L. Brooks

Broadcast News

Ball of Fire Howard Hawks

Waitress Adrienne Shelly

Baby Mama Michael McCullers

Shut Up and Sing Barbara Kopple & Cecilia Peck

I’ve Loved You So Long Philippe Claudel

The Hairy Bird Sarah Kernochan

Girl, Interrupted James Mangold

Antonia’s Line Marleen Gorris

Three Colours: Blue, White, Red Krzysztof Kieslowski

La Double Vie de Veronique (The Double Life of Veronique)

Sedmikrasky (Daisies) Vera Chytilova

Humpday Lynn Shelton

Beau Travail Clare Denis

35 Shots of Rum

White Material

Sib (The Apple) Samira Makhmalbaf

Frances Graeme Clifford

Under the Skin Carine Adler

Whale Rider Niki Caro

North Country

Persepolis Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi

Little Miss Sunshine Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

Bend it Like Beckham Gurinder Chadha

The Sapphires Wayne Blair

Radiance Rachel Perkins

Monster Patty Jenkins

Dogfight Nancy Savoca

Whatever Susan Skoog

Made in Dagenham Nigel Cole

The Kids Are Alright Lisa Cholodenko

The Color Purple Steven Spielberg

Brave Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman & Steve Purcell

3 Women Robert Altman

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore Martin Scorsese

A League of Their Own Penny Marshall

Fried Green Tomatoes Jon Avnet

The Accused Jonathan Kaplan

Johnny Guitar Nicholas Ray

Red Desert Michelangelo Antonioni

Private Benajmin Howard Zieff

Fargo Coen Brothers

The Miracle Worker Arthur Penn

Bound Wachowski Brothers

The Good Girl Miguel Arteta

Muriel’s Wedding PJ Hogan

All About Eve Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Orlando Sally Potter

Boys on the Side Herbert Ross

Steel Magnolias

Rain Christine Jeffs

Sunshine Cleaning


Moolaade Ousmane Sembene

Moonstruck Norman Jewison

In My Father’s Den Brad McGann

Legally Blonde Robert Luketic

Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion David Mirkin

Drop Dead Gorgeous Michael Patrick Jann

Dick Andrew Fleming

Itty Bitty Titty Committee Jamie Babbit

But I’m a Cheerleader

The Quiet

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fran Rubel Kuzui

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Gus Van Sant Jr

Frida Julie Taymor

Across the Universe


Swing Shift Jonathan Demme

Rachel Getting Married

An Unmarried Woman Paul Mazursky

Not Bad for a Girl Lisa Rose Apramian

The Girls Mai Zetterling

Women Without Men Shirin Neshat

Yentl Barbra Streisand

Facing Mirrors Negar Azarbayjani

Washington Square Agnieszka Holland

Angry Harvest

Europa Europa

In Darkness

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days Cristian Mungiu

Cairo 678 Mohamed Diab

Straight Talk Barnet Kellman

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