In honor of International Women’s Day, which happens every March 8th, I’ve compiled a watchlist of 8 girl power films with feminist and empowering themes! Gather your besties and family in one spot and get inspired.
1. Moana (2016)
Why I Love It: Moana defies the expectations of society and her own family and chooses instead to set sail on her own adventure (wink wink IYKYK). This film also has a powerful message about how much better society could be if it listened to girls more 👀
Rating: 10/10 ‘cause who doesn’t love a strong female character who isn’t a damsel in distress? Yes, we stan!! #IAMMOANA #WEAREMOANA
2. Inside Out (2015)
Why I Love It: Growing up, I was told again and again that girls are too emotional, sampai sometimes I wish I didn’t feel so much. And this film… it made me realize my emotions are valid and beautiful walaupun ada yang kadang2 sakit jugak.
Rating: 0/10 sebab confem nangis but also 10/10 because crying is healthy.
3. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
Why I Love It: We love challenging traditional gender roles and stereotypes! This film is also great because it explores cultural identity and spotlights the importance of female friendships <3
Rating: 24/7 ‘cause I want to see more female friendships in media, all day err day.
4. The Swimmers (2022)
Why I Love It: This is an inspiring film based on real life that follows the two Mardini sisters from war-torn Syria to the Olympics. Major girl power on display! The film also shines a light on the struggles of refugees so please sediakan tisu ya. You’ve been warned.
Rating: 8/10 ‘cause Yusra and Sara Mardini are amazing, but the film reminded me that Malaysia doesn’t recognize refugees ugh
5. Hidden Figures (2016)
Why I Love It: I mean, who doesn’t love seeing white-washed male-centric history being called out? But ekcheli I’m just happy NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson got the spotlight they deserve.
Rating: 1+1=2×5=10 ‘cause #blackgirlmagic always finds a way!
6. Persepolis (2007)
Why I Love It: This B&W animated movie tells the story of a young girl coming of age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Okay, I tell you siap siap: this movie bukan jenis haha heehee. The themes ada pasal war, politics, etc. Dia deep sangat, but the animation is veli nais and the story can be very relatable for us in Malaysia!
Rating: Infinity out of 10 ‘cause this movie is pretty punk and punk never dies 🤘🏽
7. Princess Mononoke (1997)
Why I Love It: I mean? Look at her???? SHE’S AMAZING! I love her ‘cause Princess Mononoke tak kisah pasal behaving like a lady or whatever as she fights tooth and nail to protect the environment. Dia ganas but ada sebab! Basically, she’s like a wild, anime version of Greta Thunberg.
Rating: I give this movie 10/10 trees 🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳 ’cause I want to heal nature too!
Special mention: Sebenarnya all Studio Ghibli films are really empowering and pretty feminist! Memang since his first film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Hayao Miyazaki’s main characters have been mostly capable girls who do what they want! So boleh tengok Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service too kalau ada masa.
8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
Why I Love It: OF COURSE I’M GONNA REP MICHELLE YEOH! There are a million and 1 reasons why I love this film. One of ‘em is sebab the women in the film are not typical heroines. Like, yes!!! Women and girls are complex people who have their own goals, strengths and flaws. There’s also a lot of themes pasal family and expectations that made me feel so seen. Sis nak nangis just thinking about it!
Rating: 1 in a Million, in every multi-verse 🙂
These were my picks of girl power films, but I’m sure you’ve got some films in mind for International Women’s Day too. Share ‘em in the comments for others to add to their watchlist!
And, if you’re interested in letting your voice be heard this International Women’s Day, join this year’s Women’s March! It kicks off on 12th March at 10am dekat depan Sogo, KL. Save the date and see you there! #BangkitBantah #RiseResist