Once again the Academy Awards have all-male lineup of Best Director contenders. And it might seem a grand idea to blame the notoriously mostly white and mostly male membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for ignoring the contributions women make to movies. Sadly, it’s not so simple. The Oscars are part of a cycle of institutional sexism that makes it harder for female fimmakers to find funding, and to win the helm of Oscar bait movies.
Realizing that, you might feel defeated. But there is something you can do. Show Hollywood you want more women in film. It begins with 52 Films By Women.
This pledge campaign championed by Women In Film urges cinephiles to watch one movie a week made by a woman. From there, use the hashtag #52FILMSBYWOMEN to share the love and clue others into what cinema gold has been made by ladyfolk.
We Overlords are getting on board with this weekly column where we’ll recommend an excellent woman-made movie and invite you to share suggestions of your own. Since we’re a bit late to this 2016 resolution, let’s kick things off with three picks, all Oscar nominees past and present.
The Hurt Locker (2009)
Kathryn Bigelow rocketed through the glass ceiling, becoming the first woman ever to win the Best Director Academy Award for this groundbreaking war drama that followed an impulsive bomb squad sergeant (Jeremy Renner), embedded and unraveling in Iraq. This movie alone should prove a female director can slay at action. Of course, Bigelow’s been making mind-rattling action sequences that are rich with emotional weight for decades. That’s basically her jam.
One of two female filmmakers whose movie scored an Academy Award nod this year, documentarian Liz Garbus awed the Academy nomination committee with her tender and tragic portrait of the iconic songstress and activist Nina Simone. With this divine diva doc, learn about the woman behind the mystique and that voice, haunting in its power, pain, and vulnerability.
Not only did this Ava DuVernay-helmed historical drama detail Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s brave 1965 march for Civil Rights, but also it speaks to the modern battle for justice that is #BlackLivesMatter. Famously snubbed in many of the major award categories in last year’s Oscars, this marvelous movie nonetheless boasts a remarkable performance from David Oyelowo as the man himself, and offers strong supporting turns from Tom Wilkinson, Giovanni Ribisi, Tessa Thompson, Lorraine Toussaint, Common, and Keith Stanfield.