March is Women’s History Month in the U.S., and while we’ve already honored the occasion with a feature on women’s personal films, it’s about time for a list of great documentaries offering stories of significant women and events. Sadly, it’s not as easy to find a lot of worthy films as it was for our Black History Month equivalent in February. There aren’t as many exceptional docs on the women’s movement as there are on the African American Civil Rights movement.
The crop is sure to grow, however, not just on efforts to present the history of feminism but also to showcase important women in history, such as Alice Guy-Blache, an early filmmaking pioneer whose life is the subject of an upcoming doc from executive producer Robert Redford. Another expected to be out this year is on computer language heroine Grace Hopper. And the work that Women Make Movies is doing to support films about women is always increasing and improving.
It’s not that there is lack of great docs focused on women. In fact, there are tons with women subjects, but not of a historical nature. The following films are about women who’ve made strides toward gender equality or who’ve made some sort of momentous achievement independently of any movement.