IWD Special – Film and Women’s Issues

As someone who is passionate about Women’s issues, my blog inevitably explores films that are by women and/or about women, occasionally highlighting said issues. Whether it be Almodovar’s all-female cast, Mungiu’s tackling of illegal abortion, or Erguven’s portrayal of forced marriages, cinema has the ability to create discussion about women’s experiences in every corner of the world.

In celebration of International Women’s Day I’m going to honour one or two film makers/documentaries that highlight some issues across the globe (I’m kinda big on documentaries)

Stacey Dooley Investigates (BBC Series)

I know technically Stacey makes TV Documentaries but they’re super interesting and she has covered a wide range of issues that women face around the globe including;

  • Yazidi women captured by ISIS in Syria
  • Murder of/violence against women in Honduras and Indigenous women in Canada
  • Sexualisation of young girls in Japan
  • Domestic abuse in the UK

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

I first discovered Sharmeen’s work when her short documentary ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’ (2015) won an Oscar last year. The film was a hard-hitting recount of the many female victims of ‘honour killings’ every year in Pakistan, her home country. She has numerous other short documentaries highlighting other issues Pakistani women face, such as acid attacks.

Kirby Dick

It was only as I was literally creating this post that I realised two of the films I was going to feature were in fact directed by the same dude. Those films (which are of a very similar nature so I probably should have put 2 and 2 together) are ‘The Invisible War (2012)‘ and The Hunting Ground (2015), in which victims of rape in the US military and on US college campuses recall the horrific incidents and describe the incompetence of those in power in bringing the perpetrators to justice. I found both films to be incredibly distressing, they’re shocking and – as documentaries go – a pretty objective representation of real events, the kind of films I recommend to people that think “feminism isn’t necessary in the West.”


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