Film Archives – Page 2 of 2 – FutureFemme

To celebrate its recent Netflix release, here’s a ranking of the ten moments that made us fall in love with 'Amélie' – the character and the film.

Ten moments that made us fall in love with ‘Amélie’

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Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 cinematic masterpiece Amélie stars Audrey Tautou (The Da Vinci Code) as the innocent and naive girl in Paris who, on a quest to help those around her, discovers love along the way. To this day, it remains one of the greatest love films of our time, moving beyond the tropes of the genre as it paints a fantastical brightly-colored portrait of Paris, the protagonist, and the magical and surreal world in which she lives.

Jeunet covers both the light and the dark of the world in a sweet, whimsical manner, and builds characters in an eclectic and unusual way, with all the eccentricities of the film combining to make one of the most memorable love stories of the 21st century. To celebrate its recent Netflix release, here’s a ranking of the ten moments that made us fall in love with Amélie – the character and the film:

Beating heart

Rather than depending solely on dialogue, Jeunet uses visual effects to enhance the film and reflect the character’s feelings and emotions. This is perfectly exemplified the moment Amélie spots Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) at the train station and her heart starts to flutter.

Amélie’s question

Amélie is distinctive in that the viewer is given true insight into each character’s idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, for example the way our lead amuses herself with questions like, “How many couples are having an orgasm now?” The answer? Fifteen.

Coffee shop colleagues

Speaking of eccentricities, Amélie’s coffee shop colleagues & customers are full of them, from the hypochondriac coworker (Isabelle Nanty) who offers more than a few laughs to the demanding customer Joseph (played by the ever wonderful Dominique Pinon).

Amélie’s childhood

The foundation of Amélie’s story is set with the unorthodox childhood she endured, spending much of her upbringing isolated from everyone except her parents due to their displayed characteristics of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Jeunet uses these scenes to develop our understand of Amélie while adding charming insights into the young lead’s imagination and the peculiarities of her parents: vinyls made like crêpes, the mother’s broken nerves following Blubber the pet fish’s suicide attempt, and the used Instamatic that causes Amélie’s OCD tendencies to kick in.

Childhood treasure box

The night Amélie sees Princess Diana has died, the shock causes her to drop a bottle top, which rolls across the floor to hit a loose tile on her bathroom wall. It’s here she discovers a hidden childhood treasure box and experiences an epiphany – to find the owner of the box, return his treasure, and if he is touched, she promises to become “a regular do-gooder”. The scene in which she reunites the owner with the box is enough to warm the coldest of hearts.

Amélie’s revenge

Of course, Amélie’s journey to help those around her doesn’t just involve the good. On her quest, she gets creative when playing pranks to torment the mean-spirited grocer for mistreating his assistant.

Even artichokes have hearts

Speaking of the grocer, there’s no denying the brilliance of the moment Amélie calls him out for calling his assistant a “useless vegetable”. “You’ll never be a vegetable. Even artichokes have hearts.” Mic drop!


When the urge to help mankind suddenly engulfs her, Amélie helps a blind man cross the street, narrating the sights she sees in great detail to go along with the smells and sounds he’s experiencing. It’s truly one of the most heartwarming moments in the entire film, showing Amélie’s ability to spread joy and happiness wherever she goes.

Amélie likes

A whimsical insight into the film’s characters is provided during the scenes in which we’re shown the small pleasures experienced by each one (even the cat). While Amélie’s life is described as lonely and simple, we can see she takes joy in the little things, like dipping her hand into sacks of grain, cracking crème brulée with a teaspoon, and skipping stones at St. Martin’s Canal.

True love

At the end of her cat-and-mouse game with Nino around Paris, it takes her good friend Dufayel’s (Serge Merlin) insight to give her the courage to pursue a relationship with the man who truly loves her (and she loves in return). Turning on the television set, he tells her, “If you let this chance go by, your heart will eventually become as dry and brittle as my skeleton. So, go get him for Pete’s sake!” After discovering Nino at her doorway, Amélie finally gives in and allows herself to find the happiness and love she deserves. And, well, you know what comes next . . .

Kristen Stewart has enjoyed a career full of gutsy roles and masterful performances that prove she’s genuinely one of the greatest young actors in the industry. Here’s our ranking of her ten best so far.

‘Personal Shopper’: Kristen Stewart’s most gutsy roles to date

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Catherine Hardwicke’s adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight was released ten years ago and the film (along with his subsequent sequels) remains a divisive relic of 00s movie madness. Scores of preadolescent girls developed major feelings for sparkling vampires and Kristen Stewart was basically tasked with being the human equivalent of a heart-eye emoji as meek mortal Bella Swan opposite brooding undead babe Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). However you feel about the films, there’s no denying they didn’t offer much of a role for Stewart to sink her teeth into.

From the Twilight franchise alone, it’d be difficult to see any glimmer of skill or talent from Stewart beyond her ability to bite her lip suggestively at a blood-guzzling beau. But both prior to and following the young adult vampire films, Stewart has enjoyed a career full of gutsy roles and masterful performances that prove she’s genuinely one of the greatest young actors in the industry. Here’s our ranking of her ten best so far.

10. On the Road (2012)

Released towards the end of the Twilight Saga’s tight grip on the hearts & minds of teenage girls (and grown-ass women) everywhere, On the Road saw Stewart delivering a transformative performance. Playing free-spirited Marylou in Walter Salles’s adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s revered beat classic, Stewart gleefully danced off the shackles of mainstream Hollywood.

9. Panic Room (2002)

Only the gutsiest 12-year-olds have the opportunity to work with David Fincher (Zodiac) for a lead role, which is exactly what Stewart did as the daughter of Jodie Foster’s Meg in Panic Room. She’s tough, resilient, and daring, squaring up to the men who have broken into her home (Jared Leto & Forest Whitaker) with all the confidence of someone twice her age.

8. Certain Women (2016)

Alongside Michelle Williams (All the Money in the World) and Laura Dern (The Tale), the movie tells the story of three trailblazing women whose lives intersect in a small-town. Though her role isn’t as major in the movie, Stewart is sweet and restrained as a lawyer struggling with the demands of her job.

7. Camp X-Ray (2014)

G.I. Jane aside, it’s rare to see portrayals of female soldiers in a lead role. As Cole – a soldier assigned to Guantanamo Bay who befriends a man imprisoned there – she offers a magnificent blend of strength & vulnerability, proving women can also throw on Army fatigues and display as much corporal tenacity as the dudes (as if anyone ever had any doubt!)

6. American Ultra (2015)

After showing off her credentials in numerous dramatic roles, Stewart let loose a little in American Ultra as a stoner striving to protect her government agent boyfriend who has been marked for extermination. Her performance is the most playful of her career to date, and an absolute hoot to watch.

5. Lizzie (2018)

Having premiered at Sundance in January, Lizzie is still yet to be released to the masses. However, the psychological thriller in which Stewart plays the maid and occasional lover of Lizzie Borden (Chloë Sevigny) is still a gutsy choice of role. An infamous murder mystery with a side of illicit lesbian romance? Yes, K-Stew!

4. The Runaways (2010)

The musical biopic marked a departure for Stewart from mainstream teen idol to a rebel with range. Starring opposite Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds) & Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water), Stewart sported a messy mullet to play rock icon Joan Jett and delivered a performance full of swagger and unkempt, sapphic desire.

3. Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)

It’s no surprise Stewart’s most critically-acclaimed performance was in Olivier Assayas’s story of a film star (Juliette Binoche) coming face-to-face with an uncomfortable reflection of herself. The actor collaborates well with the director and in Clouds of Sils Maria, Stewart holds her own against powerful performances from Binoche and Chloë Grace Moretz (I Love You, Daddy) by maintaining a measured intensity throughout.

2. Welcome to the Rileys (2010)

If you’re going to step into the acting ring against James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), you’ve got to have some big moves to keep up with him. Playing a troubled stripper named Mallory, Stewart showcased her capabilities as an actor who – at the time – was unfairly ridiculed for her apparent lack of range. Stewart stepped up to her criticisms in the role, showcasing serious range alongside some truly unnerving restless energy.

1. Personal Shopper (2016)

Assayas’s mournful horror balances emotional, pensive drama with unnerving, supernatural exploration. At the heart of the story is Stewart, who juggles all of these thematic swords with effortless finesse as Maureen – a young woman desperate to make contact with her recently deceased twin brother.

Following the release of Coralie Fargeat’s hard-hitting thriller 'Revenge', we’re taking a look at some of the best female revenge films from the past several decades. Load ‘em up, girls – it’s hunting time!

The most furious female revenge films that are best served cold

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Revenge is a dish best served with a side order of badass. Coralie Fargeat’s hard-hitting thriller Revenge dropped in theaters back in May, and for those of you who missed the hype, it was one of the buzziest films at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, offering a fresh, bloody, and raw take on the rape-revenge narrative.

The film received rave reviews upon its release, with Variety describing the movie as “a tense, bloody, riveting cat-and-mouse game that embraces the slick tracking shots and can-you-top-this nastiness that’s come to define the French horror brand.” In the wake of its release, we’re taking a look at some of the best female revenge films from the past several decades. Load ‘em up, girls – it’s hunting time!

Hard Candy (2005)

Never underestimate the power of a teenage girl. This crime thriller plays out what most people wish upon the lurkers who groom young girls on the internet, after a fourteen-year-old female vigilante traps and tortures a man whom she suspects of being a sexual predator. It’s brutal, savage, and completely satisfying to watch.

Elle (2016)

Paul Verhoeven’s brazenly brutal thriller sees a stunning performance from Isabelle Huppert (Souvenir) as a successful businesswoman who turns the table on her attacker and gets caught up in a game of cat & mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her. This film is more than just a tale of revenge, tackling the protagonist’s psychological trauma with tact and complexity.

Ms. 45 (1981)

Back in 1981 Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) unleashed his shocking crime thriller into the cinematic realm, about a timid and mute seamstress who goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day. Filled with rage and vengeance, she takes to the streets of New York and takes down men with the titular .45 caliber pistol. While some might argue it borders on the exploitative, Ms. 45 is more enjoyable than it has any right to be and beneath the provocative scenes, the film contains a surprising level of intention and purpose.

Bedevilled (2010)

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that South Korea knows how to do a vengeance film. In Jang Cheol-soo’s directorial debut, the protagonist Kim (Seo Young-hee) is tortured and molested by her husband and his brother and berated by her aunt and the village elders. The build up is intense, making the breaking point all that more satisfying as Kim takes bloody revenge on everyone who wronged her.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

You can’t make a female vengeance list without giving Kill Bill a mention. Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction) is 100% badass in Quentin Tarantino’s empowering tribute to Japanese genre films, and since there are too many best-bits to mention, instead we thought we’d crack on the 5,6,7,8s and have a boogie!

M.F.A. (2017)

Natalia Leite’s SXSW hit gives an unrelenting tale of rape denial, seeing Francesca Eastwood (True Crime) as an art student who is sexually assaulted at a party. After receiving no support from her college to find justice and cope with her psychological trauma, she decides to take matters into her own hands and thus, an unlikely vigilante is born.

Carrie (1976)

As high-school misfits, we all probably fantasized about taking revenge on the douchey a-holes at school. Luckily we had Carrie, so we could enjoy such fantasies without winding up in jail. Based on Stephen King’s 1974 novel of the same name, Brian De Palma’s supernatural horror centers on a girl who starts out as a shy, sheltered teen and winds up a murderous prom freak who uses her telekinetic powers to unleash pain and suffering amongst the a-holes who bullied her.

The Skin I Live In (2011)

Pedro Almodóvar’s psychological thriller about a plastic surgeon and his guinea pig “patient” is both shocking and entertaining, weaving together a complex and unpredictable story that breaks the conventions of the rape-revenge narrative, showing how obsession with seeking vengeance can either drive a person to insanity or act as a justification tool for the actions a person takes (or both).

Baise Moi (2000)

In what might be one of the most controversial films of the 21st century, directors Virginie Despentes & Coralie Trinh Thi were completely unapologetic about their portrayal of rape, sex, and violence in their New French Extremity crime thriller. Featuring porn performers in leading roles acting out real-life sex scenes, the story follows two women who embark on a relentless crime spree after being gang raped. This one’s not for the faint-hearted.

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

As the third installment in Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, Geum-ja Lee (Yeong-ae Lee) carries out an intricate and meticulously planned mission to take revenge on the paedophile murderer who stole years of her life, not just on behalf of herself, but on behalf of the parents whose lives he ruined. With jet-black humor and artistic finesse, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is a true cinematic masterpiece.

I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

The reigning queen of female vengeance films, Meir Zarchi’s original I Spit on Your Grave (the less said about the 2010 remake, the better) centers on an aspiring writer who is brutally gang-raped before systematically hunting down her attackers to seek revenge. For most people vengeance is a dish best served cold – in the case of Jennifer (Camille Keaton), it’s served brutal, bloody, and totally unrelenting.

A study by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film suggests Hollywood still has a long way to go before it achieves gender equality.

Film’s future is female: Join these women leading from the front

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In the wake of Hollywood’s sexual misconduct scandal, gender equality remains a central theme within the industry. While female filmmakers like Lady Bird’s Greta Gerwig, Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins, and A Wrinkle in Time’s Ava DuVernay may be recognized as some of the greatest talents working today, a study by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film suggests Hollywood still has a long way to go.

The study discovered the jaw-dropping statistic that women held just 18% of behind-the-scenes film jobs including directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers in the top grossing movies of the past year. The figures have hardly budged since 1998. Out of the 250 top-grossing domestic films, just 1% employed 10 or more women, while 70% employed 10 or more men. Furthermore, 30% of the titles featured zero or one woman in behind-the-scenes jobs, while none of the films had fewer than one man.

Rather than simply sitting back and despairing at these dismal figures, a series of organizations and initiatives have launched to encourage gender parity both in front of and behind the lens.

Seeking to prove actions speak louder than words are the Film Fatales – a community of female feature film & TV directors who meet regularly to share resources, collaborate on projects, and discuss relevant topics in their careers. Currently there are over 500 members in Los Angeles and New York, and hundreds more across Europe, Australia, and Africa.

Film Fatales Founder Leah Meyerhoff thinks the statistics for female filmmakers are too low. “Half of our society is women. Half of the audiences are women. Half of the creative content needs to be made by women. The more that women and people of color can see reflections of themselves on screen, and the more that straight white men can learn to empathize with other subject positions through watching a variety of stories unfold, the healthier our society will be as a whole.”

That’s where Film Fatales comes in. So far the company has programmed over 250 films directed by women at 90 independent theaters and organized over 100 panel discussions, workshops, and networking events in partnership with festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Toronto, and more. “By expanding the landscape of storytelling to include more underrepresented voices, Film Fatales continues to bring new and exciting films to the big screen.”

Meanwhile, the Alliance of Women Directors offers many programs to benefit its members. Chair of the organization, Jennifer Warren, claims that the non-profit’s primary goal is to achieve parity in the workplace for female directors. “As an organization, we are fighting for change in the hiring practices. One example would be our partnering with the ACLU in identifying discriminatory patterns within the studios.

“In addition, we have outreach to all the film festivals, which provides our members with various perks, including lower entry fees; we have affiliations with many of the professional organizations; we have educational programs and panels with high-visibility directors; and we have different kinds of shadowing programs all aimed at getting our members employment.”

Over in the UK, Women in Media provides networking opportunities and professional development for directors in the film and TV industries. Executive director Tema L. Staig outlined the company’s reason behind the launch of its female-focused IMDB-style list, the so-called WiMCrewList.

“For the longest time, we heard that people just couldn’t find women in the crew. For some reason, even though I knew tons of women, they were invisible to many decision makers. With the WiMCrewList, women can add their IMDB, resume, reels, SoundCloud, mini bio, if they are union / non union, and the rest. Our members can add all their credits, which is necessary when it comes to decision makers vetting new talent.”

The Director List is a hub for finding female directors and their work. As a filmmaker herself, founder and editor Destri Martino sought out the work of seasoned female directors to provide inspiration and guidance for her own projects, but was often disappointed by the low number of women she found.

“While doing research for a masters thesis back in 2005, I realized there were a lot more working directors than mainstream media coverage”. Out of this realization, The Director List was born. Since then, the list of female directors with demonstrable experience in features, TV, and/or large-scale commercials and music videos has jumped to 1,000 members and growing.

In addition to the database, the site provides news, photos, video, and a community focused on the film, TV, and video projects women are actively creating around the world.

Elsewhere, Reel Angels has been breaking boundaries as an agency that represents female technical crews for film, TV, and entertainment events. The company claims to promotes gender equality in technical departments by providing a credible and proven resource of top-end talent.

Lulu Elliott, founder of RA Agency, told Film Daily how the company exists at a time when there has never been a more opportune moment to employ female talent in film and TV. “By representing women, we see ourselves as leaders in the ongoing progress towards full gender parity across the industries.”

These organizations’ efforts haven’t been going unnoticed. Since 2016, Telefilm Canada, the powerful, well-funded film financing arm of the Canadian government, unveiled its ambitious drive to gender equality in the film sector by 2020. It seems the initiative is already having effect, as a 2017 study shows a 27% increase in agency-backed projects directed by women since 2015.

While gender counting in filmmaking crews & casts will undoubtedly remain a hot topic in 2018, it remains to be seen whether a world in which crews maintain 50% representation between genders across the entire industry is actually desirable, or even possible. And what about those who identify as something else entirely? Film Daily recommends the underrepresented feline contingent in entertainment production create a non-profit to promote human-cat parity by 2026.

It’s that time of year again when the most lit members of the TV and movie world gather at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica to make Kardashian jokes and hand out those cute little golden popcorn trophies.

How “what she wore” red carpet coverage has destroyed awards season

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It’s that time of year again when the most lit members of the TV and movie world gather at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica to make Kardashian jokes and hand out those cute little golden popcorn trophies. That’s right – last night we were treated to the annual MTV Movie & TV Awards.

There were many big wins of the night, Black Panther receiving highest honor for Best Movie and Stranger Things bagging Best Show. Elsewhere, Lena Waithe (Master of None) received the Trailblazer Award (good shout), Michael B. Jordan won Best Villain for his role in Black Panther, and host Tiffany Haddish took on this year’s Kardashian jab my likening the family to the Star Wars franchise. Double burn?

But forget movie stars and TV shows and all those involved in shipping to content to our greedy eyeballs. Because before people had sat their perfectly glossed butts down on the seats, a far more dominant competition was underway: the red carpet fashion showdown. Yes, once again in the hangover haze, the raucous and shameless energy of the tabloid press has dominated the headlines to discuss who the real winners of the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards were – the ones who looked on fleek on the red carpet. Jezebel summed it up perfectly in its coverage by stating, “The MTV Movie & TV Awards, for a famous person nominated or someone just looking for something to do on a Saturday in June, appears to be a very difficult event to get dressed for!”

Yes, no one seemed dress for the same event, but does that even matter? How have we reached this point where the fashion statements are more heavily regarded than the content itself? Awards season is dominated with red carpet fashion coverage that acts as a smokescreen for the fact that no one really has a clue what they’re doing or even really cares.

Faux pas

Tiffany Haddish

Let’s look at the Oscars – the yearly event where Hollywood’s A-listers give themselves a proverbial pat on the back and for some reason keeps on going despite the fact that it’s run by a bunch of old, white dudes*. The idea is to highlight the world’s top talent in cinema; the reality is the Academy Awards, along with other major award ceremonies, are simply an afterthought to the production companies and their eye-wateringly expensive marketing campaigns. Which is perhaps why the prestigious event has a dirty history of bribery, release date tactics, and voters not even watching the damn film they’d voted for.

When it finally comes round to it, the world is distracted by the glitz and glamour of it all. The most depressing of all is the emphasis on “what she wore” coverage and the many alleged fashion mishaps that are evidently considered more important than the fact that the Oscars is a practice in shuffling money around and into the pockets of Hollywood’s top execs. For example, Vanity Fair’s coverage of actress & singer Rita Moreno (West Side Story) proved that you quite literally can’t wear an outfit more than once without someone writing an entire feature about it – even if the last time you wore it was in 1962.

However, fashion fails do not apply when you’re Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) a.k.a. the golden boy a.k.a. the Oscars darling. He can do no wrong – even when wearing an all white tux. Whoa, slow down there boy! The Thrillist agreed, citing his “moment” in the spotlight thanks to a somewhat “sexy” appearance on the cover of GQ. Same goes for the “Executives (and their dates) on the red carpet”, as The Hollywood Reporter’s photo gallery was titled as it presented the “heroes” of the industry, their multi-thousand dollar suits, and their doting wives – in brackets.

Fashion statement

A similar fawn fest unfolds each year at the annual Golden Globes awards as paps capture pictures of celebs hoping to make it into the best dressed category. This year the coverage took a weird turn as confused journalists attempted to morph reductive fashion coverage with the ongoing sexual harassment scandal that engulfed Hollywood over the last year. What resulted is this weird phenomenon where wearing an LBD is considered an act of defiant protest. “The Golden Globes’ red carpet has seen many iconic fashion moments,” wrote Harpers Bazaar, “but none have quite stood out as much as this year’s sea of LBDs in recognition of #MeToo and #TimesUp.”

In similar vein, The Spec noted how thanks to a red carpet dyed black by actresses dressed in a color-coordinated statement, “the Golden Globes were transformed into an A-list expression of female empowerment in the post-Harvey Weinstein era.” And of course, let’s not forget the men’s role in this admirable show of activism – wearing Time’s Up pins on the lapels of their Prada suits.

Weirder still, this idea morphed further at the Oscars when journalists, in a state of panic and further confusion, started actually categorizing colors in relation to social statements. The Guardian’s take on the Oscars was even more reductive than the concept of a dress code protest itself, stating, “not all protests have to be monochrome. Film stars struck blows for feminism at the Academy Awards in dresses of pink, gold, red, yellow, and furry slippers.” So remember A-listers, you don’t have to wear black if you want to enforce change within the industry. You can don pink, furry slippers too!

The smoke screen is clearing

We’re at a point in history when the smoke screen is clearing. Awards ceremonies are proving themselves to be as the old guards of Hollywood, as outdated as the red carpet coverage we’re subjected to each year. The proof is in the ratings, which continue to plummet year on year as viewers favor the hundreds of scripted TV shows and movies available online and SVOD services over these tired televised events. As Rotten Tomatoes (an organization that is far better at judging the success of content than a televised awards ceremony) put it, “The Emmys and Oscars . . . are largely unchanged since at least the 1970s: people in gowns and tuxes reading stiffly off TelePrompTers. Awards for categories no one cares about. A massive orchestra playing people off even if their speeches are entertaining.”

Such ceremonies are a practice in traffic direction, sticking to a safe formula year on year. So long as this format is followed, not a lot can change. Which is perhaps why movie and TV fans are increasingly ignoring the awards fanfare and sticking to what they love best – good content.

*An LA Times study revealed 91% of members were white, while 76% were male.

The UK is currently celebrating 100 years of women having the right to vote and the challenging fight required to reach that point. Here are eight of our absolute favorite female agitators depicted in TV & film.

Good Girls Revolt: The best female agitators in film and TV

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The UK is currently celebrating 100 years of women having the right to vote and the challenging fight required to reach that point. In fighting for their rights, the Suffragettes took radical action and were made up of countless female agitators who refused to back down and who believed in women’s rights so ardently, they were prepared to sacrifice their lives for it.

Be it fictional depictions, portrayal of real life women, or a blend of the two, there have been some powerful women fighting for change shown on screen. Here are eight of our absolute favorite female agitators depicted in TV & film.

Good Girls Revolt (2015)

Patti Robinson and Jane Hollander (Genevieve Angelson and Anna Camp)

The sadly short lived Amazon Originals series is based on the real life revolt female researchers performed in protest of the sexism they perceived in the Newsweek offices in the early 70s. Shrewdly fictionalized as News of the Week magazine, the show centers around the second wave feminist movement of the time and within it, characters Patti and Jane are smart, tough, and outspoken in fighting for the respect they deserve for their work and for equality in the workplace.

Queen Sugar (2016-)

Nova Bordelon (Rutina Wesley)

Not only is Nova a journalist and Black Lives Matter activist shrewdly finding a myriad of ways with which to strive for change, but the character of Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed drama also has firm roots within her community, highlighting the importance of change at a local level. She’s ferocious, passionate, intelligent, and a pillar of strength.

The Seashell and The Clergyman (1928)

La femme du général (Genica Athanasiou)

Germaine Dulac’s classic surrealist film remains one of the most radical feminist films ever made. The movie’s central female character is about as subversive as they come – particularly for the time the film was made and released – in resisting the power of a king and the desires of a priest. There’s even a sequence in which she holds a burning bra above her head in protest! In 1928! Unsurprisingly, the film was subsequently banned, with the British Board of Film Censors somehow conceding it’s simultaneously “meaningless” and “objectionable”.

Erin Brockovich (2000)

Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts)

Steven Soderbergh’s powerful biopic is based on the true life exploits of environmental activist Erin Brockovich – an unemployed single mom who single-handedly takes on a Californian power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply. Erin refuses to back down, shut up, or step back when people with more power demand her to, and she continues to shake down a complex of corruption until she can finally see justice and accountability in sight.

Marianne & Juliane (1981)

Marianne and Juliane (Barbara Sukowa and Jutta Lampe)

Margarethe von Trotta’s German New Wave classic explores a bond between two sisters and their radically different approaches to the fight for women’s rights. While Juliane uses words and information as a journalist to spread her message, Marianne is a militant street fighter who refuses to back down or be polite. The film offers a critical female perspective on a violent time in West German history.

Born in Flames (1983)


Providing a futuristic glimpse at a feminist uprising, Lizzie Borden’s transgressive science fiction film has countless female agitators at its heart, but we have a particular soft spot for Honey – the soft spoken Radio Phoenix leader who joins forces with other women to implement a full on revolution for equal rights. The film pays a loving tribute to the contributions of women of color in political change that’s not often seen on screen.

Norma Rae (1979)

Norma Rae (Sally Field)

Based on Crystal Lee Sutton’s experiences of organizing a union with her coworkers at a textile mill in North Carolina, Field depicts a rebel-rousing, working-class woman standing up for workers’ rights despite the obvious dangers and challenges involved. As well as portraying a formidable woman fighting for rights, the film also deals with further issues of sexual freedom and institutionalized racism that sees Norma remaining resilient against various structures of oppression.

Suffragette (2015)

Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan)

A fictional rendering of many of the pioneering women involved in the British fight for the right to vote, Maud faces repeated challenges as she continues to battle for women’s rights, including being thrown out by her husband and fired from her job. The experiences Maud endures – including being brutally force fed while on hunger strike – reflects some of the real life experiences the Suffragettes went through in their fight.