Courageous Women Depicted in Films

Nov 27, 2020 | Newsletter

“It is easy to be brave from a distance”

 Lakota proverb


There have been hundreds of books, articles, and films depicting great acts of courage by men in world history. But fewer stories about courageous women. Throughout history women have often been relegated as second-class citizens whose main function was to care for husband and home and raise children. Many people today are surprised to hear that it was not until 1920 when women in the United States were given the right to vote. Even to the end, opponents to the Women’s Suffrage Movement would state, “Why do women have to vote? Their husbands and brothers can do it for them.”

In 2007, then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, decided to do something about this outrageous omission: she established the International Women of Courage Awards recognizing women from around the world who displayed “leadership, courage, willingness to sacrifice for others, especially in promoting women’s rights.”  This year’s IWOC winners were: Rita Nyampinga, a Zimbabwean campaigner for women prisoners; Lucy Kocharyan, an Armenian journalist who protested  her country’s disregard for gender based violence; and Claire Ouedraogo, an activist nun fighting against genital mutilation in Burkina Faso.

 Here are eight fact-based films featuring  fearless females, who through sheer force and courage, made ours a better world:



In 1912, 24-year-old laundry worker, Maud Watts, and her co-worker Violet Miller, become involved in the protests by the suffragettes…


Temple Grandin​

Temple Grandin, a young, precocious girl, was diagnosed with severe autism as a child…


Hidden Figures​

Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan are brilliant mathematicians recruited to work at NASA in the United States Space Program…


Slay the Dragon​

This is a documentary about gerrymandering, which is the practice of redrawing a state’s electoral map to favor the party in power…


Sophie Scholl​

In World War II Munich, Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans, join the White Rose, an anti-Nazi group…


Erin Brockovich​

In 1993, a struggling mother, Erin Brockovich, wangles a job in Ed Masry’s law office…



In 1840s Maryland, a slave state, Araminta “Minty” Ross is newly married to a freedman, John Tubman. Living on the Brodess farm, Gideon Brodess…


The Whistleblower​

Kathryn Bolkovac, an American police officer, takes a job with Democra Security, a private contractor for the United Nations International Police in post-war Bosnia…


Coming Soon, Can’t Wait

Dec 2021: Platform TBD. West Side Story. Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Broadway classic. 

Opening TBD, 2021: Netflix. Diana: A Musical

Opening TBD, 2021: Netflix. The Crown. Season 4, late 2020; Season 5, 2021. 


News Briefs and Commentary

“Are steamers avoiding controversial docs? Half a dozen hot-button documentaries have been pulled from platforms or dropped by digital distributors in the past year, angering filmmakers and viewers.”–Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter

Some examples: YouTube pulled Michael Moore’s environmental documentary Planet of the Humans because it included  an unauthorized four-second clip by photographer Toby Smith.  Smith stated he sued primarily because he opposed Moore’s position on the environment. He lost; Alex Gibney’s doc, Citizen K was dropped by Amazon because it was deemed too harsh a portrait of Vladimir Putin;  Amazon also pulled the plug on Hoaxed, about corporate malfeasance. No explanation given. Welcome to Chechnya, depicting the life and death of gays in the Republic was dropped by Netflix in the 11th hour.

Wasn’t this supposed to be a newsletter about courage?


My best,


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