At the recent 2017 Cannes film festival, actress and jury member Jessica Chastain confessed that after watching hours and hours of films in just one week, she found the portrayals of female characters to be “disturbing.” She says that too often women on screen are passive and two-dimensional, and honestly, we have to agree.
Many films being released today still don’t even pass the Bechdel test, which requires at least two female characters to be onscreen at the same time discussing something other than a man, which isn’t asking for much.
If you’re looking for a film that shows strong, empowered women taking charge then here are 12 feminist films that everyone can enjoy.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Based on the 1985 dystopian Margaret Atwood novel, The Handmaid’s Tale depicts a disturbing new world order in an imagined future where sexually transmitted diseases have rendered humans almost completely infertile. Women who can still carry children are rounded up and forced to serve as “handmaids” to the barren upper classes.
One handmaid named Offred, played by late actress Natasha Richardson, begins a forbidden relationship with her “Commander” played by Robert Duvall, and begins to push back against the tyrannical powers that have forced her into sexual slavery.
If the film version is a little dated for your taste, check out Hulu’s recent mini-series adaptation starring Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss, which is garnering rave reviews.