Top 10 Feminist Documentaries Streaming on Netflix
As of Nov. 24 2014
“Here at Ms., we’re always on the hunt for feminist documentaries and love showcasing them on the blog and in Ms. magazine. Feminist filmmakers telling the stories of women in new and interesting ways help to push women’s issues into the cultural mainstream and highlight societal problems that otherwise may have been overlooked. And these terrific films are not hard to find! Here are 10 great feminist documentaries that are streaming on Netflix Instant right now, many of which have been reviewed in Ms.”
If you haven’t seen The Punk Singer yet, STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW and watch it! Kathleen Hanna is a force of nature, and it is a GREAT documentary - you will be inspired and motivated after watching. A modern feminist classic.
From Oscar®- and Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated; Twist of Faith) comes The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem-today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 19,000 violent sex crimes in the military in 2010. The Invisible War exposes the epidemic, breaking open one of the most under-reported stories of our generation, to the nation and the world.
Summer Plans: The Giver by Lois Lowry ✓, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells ✓, Quiet by Susan Cain ✓, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer ✓, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak ✓, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte ✓, Krieg und Frieden / War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Academy Award nominations were announced today, and The Invisible War was nominated for Best Documentary. Jonathan Hahn interviewed the filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering who are behind this powerful examination of sexual assault in the US military. From the introduction:
There are some works of writing or painting, speech, or film that do more than just stand as great works of art. They change things. They put before us something fundamentally wrong with the world — with the society we take for granted, with the institutions on which we depend and that in turn depend on us — and demand change.The Invisible War belongs in that pantheon, and is easily one of the most important films of the year.
Oscar-nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering have delivered an open letter to the military that manages to balance journalism with rage, patriotism with disillusionment in a methodical, carefully crafted narrative form. The Invisible War exposes a rampant and ignored crisis of rape and sexual assault in the U.S. military that has reached epidemic proportions. Watching the film is an exercise in outrage, as we discover the crisis very much the way the filmmakers did: shocked at its proportion, disgusted at the culture of institutional secrecy that, in an undeniable parallel with the Catholic Church, works to conceal and cover it up. While that culture has succeeded in protecting the institution, as well as the perpetrators of these crimes, it has left behind generations of women and men who entered the military as patriots to their country, only to find themselves not just traumatized but abandoned, even vilified.
Last month I traveled to MANY military bases across the country to photograph a large group of women in the armed service. The photographs & the film are part of a story in this month’s GQ magazine. I interviewed around 20 women on their feelings of courage, gender influence, loyalty, the physicality, and sexism in the military. Their feelings were complex, and their experiences for widely varied. The issues of combat exclusion and women’s right to participate has been getting much attention these days, however the road is still very long ahead.
You can see more of this story on my site. I was extremely proud to take on this subject and to meet these women.