11 Must-See Sundance Docs About Some Of The World's Most Inspiring Women

Rebels, trailblazers, and runaways are recurring characters in the many documentaries about women that were shown at 2018's Sundance Film Festival. It's fitting, too, because this year is turning out to be a powerful one for the many women who are proclaiming "time's up." As such, these 11 Sundance documentaries about women are ones you should make the effort to see in 2018. They each feature a variety of subjects, but each of the women in the films have one thing in common: they're incredibly brave.

Some of the women in these documentaries are already famous for their audacity, like Gloria Allred, Joan Jett, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Jane Fonda, and Nadia Murad. Others, however, are mostly unknown. For instance, the subject of the film A Woman Captured is a domestic slave in Europe who has remained shut away from the outside world for decades. Cindy Shank is another woman featured in a Sundance documentary who you probably have never heard of, but her story about being punished for her ex-boyfriend's crimes is one that will open your eyes to a pattern of injustices faced by too many women.

Whether these movies make you want to go out and change the world because the women in them are doing so, or they make you want to go out and change the world because the women in them are living under unfair subjugation, the result is still the same. You will be ready to take action after seeing these inspiring documentaries.

'Seeing Allred'

This Netflix documentary, which comes out Feb. 9, takes a look at famed feminist attorney, Gloria Allred, whose work in battling sexual harassment is more relevant now than ever before (directors: Sophie Sartain, Roberta Grossman).

'Kusama — Infinity'

You've seen the pictures of the Infinity Mirror Rooms, or perhaps you waited hours in line to experience them firsthand. Now you get to learn more about the fascinating artist, Yayoi Kusama, who's behind it. (Director: Heather Lenz.)

'Half The Picture'

This documentary features female filmmakers like Miranda July, who discuss the shortage of women on the production side of filmmaking (director: Amy Adrion).


You probably already worship the Notorious R.B.G., but after you see this documentary about the Supreme Court Justice, you'll respect her even more (directors: Betsy West and Julie Cohen).

'On Her Shoulders'

Nadia Murad survived a genocide in Northern Iraq in 2014, then she escaped ISIS attempts sell her into sexual slavery. After that, at 23, she became a public icon of perseverance and bravery, and this documentary takes a look at how Murad now handles her fame while still recovering from her traumatic past (director: Alexandria Bombach).

'Bad Reputation'
Brad Barket/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Oh yeah, that's right, rock legend Joan Jett is the subject of this biographical documentary. You don't have to be a rebellious runaway to appreciate the story of Jett's rise to fame.

'The Sentence'

This film takes an intimate look at a woman named Cindy Shank, while she served a 15-year prison sentence for crimes committed by her deceased ex-boyfriend. There's a name for this kind of thing, it's called "the girlfriend problem." The Sentence was made by Shank's brother, and it won the Audience Award at Sundance.

'A Woman Captured'

Director Bernadett Tuza-Ritter chronicles the tragic life of Marish, a 52 year-old domestic slave living in Hungary. Things take a turn when Tuza-Ritter's presence inspires Marish to plan an escape.

'Jane Fonda In Five Acts'
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

You probably know Jane Fonda from her long-lasting movie star fame, but there's a lot more to know about the 80-year-old powerhouse (director: Susan Lacy).


This one's a documentary about a fictional film, also called Shirkers, both made by Sandi Tan. The original film Shirkers, disappeared with Tan's friend, Georges Cardona, and a new mystery was born. (Director of photography: Iris Ng.)

'Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist'

Dame Vivienne Westwood became a punk icon during the height of the movement in 1970s Britain. Now, she's the subject of director Lorna Tucker's awesome documentary which beautifully honors the brazen fashion designer.

As you can tell, these films will be the perfect sources of inspiration to go change the world, and you need to see them all.

This story was created in support of Bustle's 2018 Awards Season pledge. Read more here.