History ~ Political Science & Philosophy ~ Women's Studies

Agora (2009)
Starring: Rachel Weisz
Director: Alexjandro Amenabar

This is a movie about ideas, a drama based on the ancient war between science and superstition. At its center is a woman who in the fourth century A.D. was a scientist, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and teacher, respected in Egypt, although women were not expected to be any of those things. ~Roger Ebert


Amazon Warrior Women:
Secrets of the Dead
Narrator: Liev Schreiber

Originally presented on PBS, Secrets of the Dead: Amazon Warrior Women looks at the myth of Amazonian warrior women and discusses what truth there might be in the legend. Though the Amazons were long thought to be wholly a subject of myth, recent archeological discoveries of 2,500-year-old remains of female bodies buried with weapons and showing signs of having spent a lot of time on horseback were discovered in Russia, fueling speculation that these could be the fabled warrior women. ~amazon.com

Blessed Is The Match
Blessed is the Match:  The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (2008)

In 1944, 22-year-old Hannah Senesh parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe with a small group of Jewish volunteers from Palestine. Theirs was the only military rescue mission for Jews that occurred in World War II... Both devastating and inspiring, Blessed is the Match offers an intimate portrait of a singularly talented, courageous and complex girl who believed that one person could be a flame that burns brightly in even the darkest hours. ~amazon.com

Eleanor Roosevelt (2000)
American Experience

She was the nation's conscience, a tireless advocate for America's disadvantaged. Controversial First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt influenced American social policies for decades and helped create the first international charter on human rights. Despite a painful childhood, shy nature, and difficult marriage, she rose to become one of America's admired women.

Fly Girls (1999)
American Experience

During WWII, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military. Wives, mothers, actresses and debutantes who joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) test-piloted aircraft, ferried planes and logged 60 million miles in the air. Thirty-eight women died in service. But the opportunity to play a critical role in the war effort was abruptly canceled by politics and resentment, and it would be 30 years before women would again break the sex barrier in the skies.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2012)

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's groundbreaking book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide takes on the central moral challenge of the 21st century: the oppression of women and girls worldwide... Half the Sky is a passionate call-to-arms, urging us not only to bear witness to the plight of the world's women, but to help to transform their oppression into opportunity. Our future is in the hands of women, everywhere. ~amazon.com

Into the Fire: American Women in the Spanish Civil War (2002)

In 1936, a right-wing military coup tried to overthrow the new, legally elected, democratic government of Spain. Hitler and Mussolini quickly joined the fight on the side of the fascist military. In response, and against the wishes of the U.S. government, about 80 American women joined over 2700 of their countrymen to volunteer for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. This film is composed of interviews with and excerpts from the letters, journals, and published writings of some of these women. ~IMDb.com

Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers (2011)
Director: Mary Skinner

This is the story of 29-year-old Irena Sendler who saw the suffering of Warsaw's Jews, and reached out to her most trusted colleagues for help, and outwitted the Nazis during World War II. Together, they rescued over 2,500 Jewish children. This film expertly captures the will and character of the women of the resistance against the backdrop of occupied Poland.

Makers: Women Who Make America (2013)
Director: Barak Goodman

Makers: Women Who Make America tells the remarkable story of the most sweeping social revolution in American history, as women have asserted their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy in the last 50 years. It's a revolution that has unfolded in public and private, in courts and Congress, in the boardroom and the bedroom, changing not only what the world expects from women, but what women expect from themselves..

Iron Jawed Angels(2004)
Starring: Hilary Swank, Margo Martindale
Director: Katja von Garnier

Hilary Swank plays Alice Paul, an American feminist who risked her life to fight for women's citizenship and the right to vote. She founded the separatist National Woman's Party and wrote the first equal rights amendment to be presented before Congress. Together with social reformer Lucy Burns (Frances O'Connor), Paul struggled against conservative forces in order to pass the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States. ~moviefone.com

One Woman, One Vote (2011)
Featuring: Susan Sarandon

How could America call itself the world's greatest democracy, but continue to deny the right to vote to more than half of its citizens? This program documents the struggle which culminated in the passing of the 19th Amendment in the U.S. Senate by one vote. Witness the 70-year struggle for women's suffrage. Discover why the crusaders faced entrenched opposition from men and women who feared the women's vote would ignite a social revolution.

Sophie Scholl - The Final Days (2006)
Director: Marc Rothemund

In 1943, as Hitler continues to wage war across Europe, a group of college students mount an underground resistance movement in Munich. Dedicated expressly to the downfall of the monolithic Third Reich war machine they call themselves the White Rose. One of its few female members, Sophie Scholl is captured during a dangerous mission to distribute pamphlets on campus with her brother Hans. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to the White Rose, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless.
~Zeitgeist Films

The Spirit of Sacajawea (2007)
Directors: Beverly Penninger
& Alyson Young

Historically, the Native American voice has been ignored with regard to the Lewis & Clark expedition. The West has been depicted as wild and uninhabited when, in fact, the opposite is true. There were established communities and complex trade systems. It is unlikely the expedition would have succeeded without the help of the native people they encountered, including Sacajawea, the only woman and the only Indian to accompany the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific Coast and back. ~IMDb.com 



Suffragette (2015)
Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep
Director: Sarah Gavron

A drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality - their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational. ~focusfeatures.com