It's hard to watch The Handmaid's Tale, but it's also just as hard to look away once you start, equally because it's freaking fantastic and because the world it depicts is horrifically relevant to our contemporary times. As of this week, four episodes are available on Hulu. which follow heroine Offred (Elisabeth Moss) as she struggles to stay alive in a heinous, dystopian society where gay people are called "gender traitors" and she is only kept alive to bear children for wealthy women who cannot. The dystopian state, called Gilead, is vividly realized, and the action is utterly compelling. If you're struggling to think about anything but Offred and Gilead these days, and want some other films that will speak to you in the same way, fear not, because there are a lot of movies to watch if you love The Handmaid's Tale.
The Handmaid's Tale shares DNA with dystopian science-fiction films, as well as socially conscious dramas and feminist true stories. The fight back against the oppression of women has made for all kinds of truly outstanding movies, and any of the films below should bring to mind, at some point or another, the struggles explored in The Handmaid's Tale.
1'The Stepford Wives'
This iconic feminist horror film, in which perfect, submissive, conservative wives carry out their wifely and motherly duties with hollow eyes and a terrible secret, is a must-watch companion to The Handmaid's Tale.
2'Children Of Men'
The excellent Children of Men, like The Handmaid's Tale, is a dystopian story about a future in which fertility rates have declined dramatically. Children of Men is gritty, haunting, and consistently thrilling.
Another sci-fi story, Gattaca presents a world that seems like a utopia in its regimented perfection, but hides horrors and restrictions that dismantle the very nature of humanity. This movie is awesome.
4'Iron Jawed Angels'
When it comes to movies about women's suffrage, the made-for-TV movie Iron Jawed Angels is more fierce and resonant than the somewhat bloated Suffragette and features a killer cast including Hilary Swank and Angelica Huston. The film's title comes from a visceral scene when the suffragettes, while on a hunger strike, are force-fed. The brutal physicality will strike a chord with Handmaid's Tale viewers.
5'If These Walls Could Talk'
The progression of reproductive rights throughout history is on full display in this film, which follows women in three different decades as they handle unplanned pregnancies.
6Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
This documentary is a sober and powerful reminder that the patriarchy of The Handmaid's Tale, where sexual assault is not only encouraged but mandated and women's bodies are owned by men, is not far from many women's realities. Fight back.
In addition to featuring The Handmaid's Tale's wonderful Samira Wiley, the psychological thriller 37 tells the story of the murder of Kitty Genovese, a gay woman, while not far from many witnesses. It has a haunting tone and examines, in many ways both literal and metaphorical, the ways that women must cope with the horrors of modern society.
8'Born In Flames'
This amazingly innovative, forward-thinking feminist science-fiction story is set in a dystopia New York City, where two feminist radio stations fight back against a destructive Patriarchal regime.
You may have forgotten that Handmaid's Tale star Elisabeth Moss is in Girl, Interrupted, but she is, along with a number of other fantastic actors. This movie is a raw, brilliant look at the ways women are forced to conform to certain roles in society.
Persepolis, which is based on the graphic autobiography by Marjane Satrapi, follows its main character as she grows up during Islamic Revolution, when an oppressive, fundamentalist regime takes over and changes everything about her life and the lives of those she loves. It's excellent.
11'Mad Max: Fury Road'
"We are not things," the female slaves of Max Max: Fury Road declare in this awesome, furious, feminist sci-fi action movie. Charlize Theron's Furiosa heroically rescues them and they all do bloody battle for their dignity and humanity.
Any of these should serve as ideal companions to The Handmaid's Tale.