Happy Women's History Month! According to its official government website, March officially became known as Women's History Month back in 1987, extending the celebration of women's contributions to all aspects of American history beyond its original one-week duration. There are so many active ways to acknowledge this special month, from volunteering for an organization that serves women and girls to advocating for women's rights to boosting the signal of important work that women have done and are currently doing to improve lives. But there are also rewarding passive ways through which you can mark this important month. Practice the self-care you need to keep on being a positive force in the world by kicking back with one of these 19 Netflix movies to watch during Women's History Month.
Informative documentaries will give you historical context for the current state of gender equality in this country. Female-fronted dramas and comedies will remind you that — though there's still a great imbalance in the industry — that women's stories are being told and told well in film. Biopics and profiles of extraordinary women will inspire you to always try for more. These Netflix movies are your cinematic homework for Women's History Month.
1. The African Queen
Famous for her dry wit and revolutionary fondness for slacks, Katherine Hepburn was 44 when she ventured down the Ulanga River with Humphrey Bogart in this adventure classic. She helped to redefine what roles were available to female actors past their ingenue stage and earned an Oscar nomination for it.
2. Working Girl
Yes, the struggle for equality in the workplace has been going on forever. At least in the '80s, they had Harrison Ford.
3. The Parent Trap
Hayley Mills (in a dual role, of course) anchors a family comedy just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids. Who says girls can't carry movies?
Reproductive rights aren't only about the legal termination of pregnancy. In this biopic, a woman searches for the child who social mores and religious doctrine forced her to give up in a touching road movie about forgiveness.
Women's History Month must include transwomen in its scope. This indie drama highlights that specific experience.
6. She's Beautiful When She's Angry
Learn from the triumphs (community organization) and the failures (shameful lack of intersectionality) of Second Wave Feminism in this stirring documentary.
7. Big Eyes
This underrated Tim Burton film tells the true story of Margaret Keane, whose husband claimed to have painted her works of art because he lacked talent of his own.
8. Masterpiece Classic: The Diary Of Anne Frank
You read The Diary Of Anne Frank in middle school, so it's about time that you revisit it. This Masterpiece Classic version is well-acted and pretty comprehensive.
9. Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work
Comedy is a man's world, so Joan Rivers attacked it with caustic wit and a hearty work ethic.
10. Sunset Boulevard
As melodramatic as it is, Sunset Boulevard is still a perceptive indictment of sexism and ageism. It's entertaining as hell, too.
An examination of queer black womanhood by filmmaker Dee Rees.
12. Two Days, One Night
Oscar winner Mario Cotillard gives a lived-in performance as a woman who must lobby her coworkers to act against their own self interest so that she can keep her job. Her quest will remind you of the small indignities women must subject themselves to every day to achieve something greater.
13. Woman In Gold
Starring Helen Mirren, Woman In Gold is based on the true story of a woman who never stopped fighting for the legacy that was stolen from her family by the Nazis.
14. Mona Lisa Smile
An art history teacher encourages her accomplished female students to think of their schooling as more than a road to an "Mrs." degree.
As organic as it is poetic, this French film by Céline Sciamma follows a group of friends through the daily paces of being young, female, black, and poor in the outskirts of Paris.
This documentary about the battle for reproductive rights in the Southern states will press you to keep up the fight.
17. 10 Things I Hate About You
Katerina Stratford is the feminist that teen audiences needed in the '90s. And her ruthless drive to take down every thoughtless macho jerk in sight is still damn inspirational.
18. A Ballerina's Tale
She's close to being a household name, but as a person of color, Misty Copeland pirouetted down a bumpy road to the elite echelon of ballet.
Since every month should be Women's History Month, feel free to enjoy these Netflix movies all year round.