Film both reflects and challenges the society in which it was created

Independent Movie Data Base


Major sources -- Turner Classics, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, HBO, BBC iPlayer

Access through a SmartTV, computer, tablet (such as iPad), phone – llink cable to TV.

Some may require a subscription depending on your provider.

Television programs can be accessed on a SmartTV.

International programs can be accessed through a VPN (usually subscription).

Some websites provide streaming for viewers; easiest way to find them is to google "[film name] stream"


13 Roses  (Historical drama, 2007) - Spanish: Las 13 Rosas

Director: Emilio Martínez Lázaro; Stars: Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Verónica Sánchez and Marta Etura.

Based on a true story, the film follows the tragic fate of 13 young women, fighting for their ideals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. All were executed.       


All About Eve  (Drama/Comedy, 1950) – American. based on story “The Wisdom of Eve” by Mary Orr

Director/Script: Joseph L. Mankiewicz;  Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm

Classic: ruthless ingénue invades an aging actress' territory, narrated from several points of view. Rather dated choice between career and domesticity but fun to watch.

National Theatre Live  (11 April 1919); Directors:  Ivo van Hove, Nich Wickham

   Stars:  Gillian Anderson, Lily James, Monica Dolan

Trivia: BWY musical “Applause” (1970); when Lauren Bacall departed, Anne Baxter played Margot Channing (1973).


Baztán Trilogy. (Mystery) - Spanish

Based on the Dolores Redondo mysteries. Inspector Amaia Salazar returns from Pamplona to Elizondo, to her childhood village in the Basque Baztán Valley, where mystery, reason, & spirituality collide.  (Spanish-English)

Director: Fernando González Molina; Stars:  Marta Etura, Nene

         The Invisible Guardian – Orig:  El guardián invisible       (2017)

         The Legacy of the Bones – Orig: Legado en los hueso   (2019)

         Offering to the Storm - Orig: Ofrenda a la tormenta         (2020)


The Devil Wears Prada.  (Comedy, 2006) – American. based on novel by Lauren Weisberger

Director: David Frankel; Screenplay; Stars: Meryl Streep, Stars: Anne Hathaway

Hillarious Streep – new journalism major faces old pro in the fashion industry

Diary of a Mad Housewife (Drama, 1970) – from the novel by Sue Kaufman

Director/Screenplay: Frank Perry; Stars: Carrie Snodgress, Richard Benjamin, Frank Langella

Tina Balser is a bored NY housewife-mother married to Jonathan, a pompous, social-climbing lawyer who ridicules her in front of their children, criticizing everything she does or wears. Desiring excitement and escape, she has an affair with a dashing, successful writer who treats her as badly as did her husband. What to do when confronted with modern isolation?


The Door (Drama, 2012) - Hungarian, English subtitles. based on novel by Magda Szabó (2005)

Director/Screenplay: István Szabó; Stars: Helen Mirren, Martina Gedeck, Károly Eperjes

An unsettling, inter-dependent relationship between two very different women: Magda, an educated writer, and Emerence, an illiterate peasant who is Magda's housekeeper. 

Earth (Drama, 1998) – Indian/Canadian – based on the novel, Cracking India, by Bapsi Sidhwa

Director/Writer: Deepa Mehta; Stars: Aamir Khan, Nandita Das, Rahul Khanna

The Country – 1947 Lahore experienced by 8-year old Lenny, a sheltered Parsee girl, as new borders between India and Pakistan will decide the fate of friends from different religions. Her developing awareness of the rising tide of political, ethnic, and religious violence and betrayal shatter her life of harmony and continuity. Following this film, Deepa Mehta was expelled from India.

2nd in a brilliant trilogy that depicts the restricted lives of women struggling in India.

Fire (Drama, 1996) – Indian/Canadian

Director/Writer: Deepa Mehta; Stars: Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Karishma Jhalani

The Home – A successful, middle-class, extended family live emotionally empty lives in a repressive environment until rage explodes into tragedy.     1st in a brilliant trilogy that depicts the restricted lives of women struggling in India.


Florence Foster Jenkins (Biography, 2016) - American

Director: Stephen Frears; Writer: Nicholas Martin; Stars: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant

Sympathetic portrayal of a dreadful singer who made it to Carnegie Hall


Ghost Topic (Drama, 2019) - Dutch/French; English subtitles,

Director: Bas Devos; Stars:  Saadia Bentaïeb, Laurent Kumba, Jovial Mbenga

Khadija, a middle-aged Maghrebi immigrant living and working in Brussels with her 17-year old daughter who no longer belongs to the same 'lost generation' as she does.

The Glorias (Biography, 2020) - American. available on You Tube

Director/Script: Julie Taymor; Writer: Gloria Steinem; Stars Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore.

The story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem's itinerant childhood's influence on her life as a writer, activist, and organizer for women's rights worldwide

Refer IWC-V – Mrs. America (TV) and Marchese “Interview” (Articles)


The Hours (Drama, 2002) – American. based on the novel by Michael Cunningham

Director: Stephen Daldry; Screenplay: David Hare; Stars: Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Ed Harris

Using the novel Mrs. Dalloway as a linking vehicle, three women's stories intertwine as they deal with repression, isolation, lesbianism, and suicide - Virginia Woolf (1941), Clarissa Vaughan (2002), and Laura Brown (1951)


The House of Bernarda Alba (Tragedy, 1991); English. based on play by Federico García Lorca.

Director: Stuart Burge, Núria Espert; Stars: Glenda Jackson, Joan Plowright, Amanda Root

After the death of her husband, Bernada Alba puts her daughters under a rigorous mourning which confines them to the house for seven years.


The Iron Lady (Drama, 2011) - American

Director: Phyllida Lloyd; Screenplay: Abi Morgan; Stars: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent

Margaret Thatcher recalls her life as she clears out her deceased husband's clothes.


Julie and Julia (Drama/Comedy, 2009) – American based on the book by Julie Powell (2005)

Director/Writer: Nora Ephron; Stars: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci

Lives of Judy Powell and Julia Childs intertwine as Julie cooks all 524 recipes in Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.


Little Women (Drama, 2019) -  American - based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott (1880)

Director/Script: Greta Gerwig; Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlon, Meryl Streep

Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the story of the four March sisters - each determined to live life on her own terms.

1933 – Director:  George Cukor; Script: Sara Manson; Stars: Katherine Hepburn

1949 -- Director: Mervyn LeRoy; Script: Andrew Solt; Stars: June Allyson, Janet Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret O'Brien

1994 – Director: Gillian Armstrong; Script: Robin Swicord;

Stars:  Winona Rider, Trini Alvarado, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon


Mrs. Dalloway (Drama, 1997) – British. based on the novel by Virginia Woolf

Director: Marleen Gorris; Screenplay: Eileen Atkins; Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Michael Kitchen, Rupert Graves

Mrs. Dalloway shops for flowers and invites an old beaux to her dinner party


Not Without My Daughter (Non-Fiction narrative, 1991) - American. Based on the true story by Betty Mahomoody

Director:  Brian Gilbert; Starring Sally Field, Alfred Molina

Betty Mahomoody joined her husband to his native Iran for a two-week vacation where she finds herself and her four-year-old daughter, Mahtob, virtual prisoners of a man rededicated to his Shiite Moslem faith

Nomadland (docudrama, 2020) – American – based on the non-fiction study of “Workampers” by Jessica Bruder (2018)

Director/Script: Chloé Zhao; Stars: Frances McDormand, Gay DeForest, Patricia Grier

A woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.  “Workampers” are disproportionately older (55-75) women who follow part-time work opportunities at places like


On the Basis of Sex (Biography of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 2019) - American

Director:  Mimi Leder; Writer: Daniel Stiepleman; Stars Felicity Lones, Arnie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates. 

Ginsberg from Harvard Law days (1956) through her early ACLU cases on gender discrimination.


Persepolis, (Animation, Memoir, 2007) -Iranian -  based on the graphic novel series by Marjane Satrapi. 

Director:  Vincent Paronnaud

Growing up under the Iranian Revolution.  Wonderful. 


The Queen (Drama/History, 2006) - British

Director: Stephen Frears; Script: Peter Morgan; Stars: Helen Mirren, James Cromwell

The Royal Family is forced to acknowledge public mourning for Diana's death


Radium Girls (docudrama, 2020) – American – based on the non-fiction book by Kate Moore

Directors:  Lydia Dean Pilcher, Ginny Mohler;  Stars: Joey King, Abby Quinn, Cara Seymour

Story of two sisters who become sick working in a factory painting clock faces with radium, and the effort to bring the corporation to trial. 

Reference:  IWCV – Non fiction.  Moore, Kate. The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (Non-fiction, 2016)

RBG  (Documentary, 2018) - American

Directors:  Julie Cohen, Betsy West. Life and career of Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Still Alice (Drama, 2014) - American

Directors: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland; Stars: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin,

Linguistics professor diagnosed with Early-onset Alzheimer's fights inner decay as she tries to survive with love and peace. Lovely little film.


Thelma and Louise (Drama/Comedy, 1991) - American

Director: Ridley Scott; Writer: Callie Khouri; Stars: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis

Iconic “buddy movie” turned upside down.  A weekend breakout holiday turns into a murderous adventure and escape.


Two Women (Drama, 1960) – Italian - based on novel by Alberto Moravia

Director: Vittorio De Sica; Script: Cesare Zavattini; Stars: Sophia Loren, Eleanora Brown

Mother and daughter escape 1943 Rome for the safety of a mountain village where, after a peaceful interlude, they find the war brutally catching them.


An Unmarried Woman (Comedy/Drama, 1978) - American

Director/Writer: Paul Mazursky; Stars: Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates, Michael Murphy

What to do with new independence? Erica, a NY wealthy woman must adapt after her husband of 16 years leeave her for a younger woman. She struggles to create a new identity, redefining herself in her own right rather than as an extension of someone's else's personality. Set against the zeitgeist of swinging 1970s New York, very much a film of its place and time.

Volver (Drama/Comedy, 2006) – Spain/Argentina; English subtitles

Director/Writer: Pedro Almodóvar; Stars: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas

Three generations of women meet again in Alcanfor de las Infantas to visit the grave of the mother where they find spirituality, incest, and murder.

Water (Drama, 2005) – Indian/Canadian

Director/Writer: Deepa Mehta; Stars: Lisa Ray, John Abraham, Seema Biswas

The Tradition - Set in 1938 colonial India during Gandhi's rise to power, the story of an 8-year old child-widow who is sent to a widows' ashram to do penance and where she will be expected to work as a prostitute to pay her board -- like Kalyani, another young, beautiful widow. A third, older woman agonized about defying tradition to save them both.

3rd in a brilliant trilogy that depicts the restrictive lives of women struggling to survive in India.

​The Women (Comedy, 1939),  American – based on the play by Clare Boothe

Director: George Cukor; Script: Anita Loos; All Female Cast:  Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, Mary Boland

Catty gossip, infidelity, prima donas, and no sisterhood among the rich and aspiring

Remake unsuccessful:  (2008)   Director/writer Diane English; Stars Meg Ryan et al.

The Whale Rider. (Mythic Tale, 2002) – New Zealand - based on the book by Witi Ihimaera

Director/Script: Niki Caro; Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton

Pai, a young Maori (Whangara people) girl feels drawn as a leader of her village, but tradition and her grandfather reject her claim. Good to watch with the grandchildren; Witi Ihimaera's daughter asked him to tell a tale about a girl hero.  He did.

Related: The Making of “The Whale Rider.” (Documentary, 2003) - Director: Jonathan Brough


What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (American Gothic, 1962) – novel by Henry Farrell

Director: Robert Aldrich; Script: Lukas Heller; Stars Bette Davis, Joan Crawford

Classic:  Sibling rivalry run amok between aging actresses as characters & actors

Woman Under the Influence (Drama, 1970) – American

Director/Writer: John Cassavetes; Stars: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper

The film tells the story of Mabel, a housewife and mother of three, married to a violent husband construction worker. who does not adapt to social norms and suffers from emotional instability.

Rowlands proposed the original idea for the film about a character experiencing the dilemmas, problems, and concerns in the 1970s.


Yerma (Drama, 1998) - Spanish.  Based on the play by Federico García Lorca

Director: Pilar Távora; Starring Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Juan Diego, Irene Papas

A childless woman's desperate desire for motherhood becomes an obsession that eventually drives her to commit a horrible crime.