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Celebrate Women’s History Month with these eight female-directed films

UPDATED: Mon., March 1, 2021

A screencap from “American Honey,” directed by Andrea Arnold (2016).  (Associated Press)
A screencap from “American Honey,” directed by Andrea Arnold (2016). (Associated Press)

Celebrate Women’s History Month by watching these eight films directed by women, all free to stream on Kanopy.com with a local library card.

“The Fits”: An 11-year-old tomboy tries her best to fit in with a dance troupe, but then finds herself in danger as the group begins to suffer from bizarre fainting spells and violent seizures. Starring Alexis Neblett, Da’Sean Minor, Royalty Hightower. Directed by Anna Rose Holmer. 2015. Not Rated. 73 minutes.

“American Honey”: A teenage girl runs away from home with a traveling sales crew. As they drive together across the American Midwest selling subscriptions door-to-door, she gets caught up in a life of partying, testing the law and exploring young love. Directed by Andrea Arnold. Starring Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough. 2016. R. 164 minutes.

“Madeline’s Madeline”: Madeline’s mother sees her as an emotionally fragile teen, but the director of her theater workshop sees her as raw talent. Her mentor sees Madeline’s troubled past as something to be exploited for her art, and as Madeline begins to take her performance too seriously, the director’s project takes on a life of its own and tests Madeline’s loyalty. Directed by Josephine Decker. Starring Helena Howard, Miranda July and Molly Parker. 2018. Unrated. 93 minutes.

“Nancy”: Nancy is a serial imposter with a hunch that she was kidnapped as a child. When she meets a couple whose daughter disappeared 30 years ago, powerful emotions start to push Nancy from reasonable doubt to irrational and willful belief. Directed by Christina Choe. Starring Andrea Riseborough, Ann Dowd, J. Smith-Cameron, John Leguizamo and Steve Buscemi. 2018. Not Rated. 85 minutes.

“Born in Flames”: A provocative story from the independent film scene of the ’80s. A female rebellion takes place 10 years after the Second American Revolution, the most peaceful revolution in United States history so far that led the country into a dystopia existence. When the founder of the Woman’s Army is mysteriously killed, members of the female rebellion aim to dismantle the system entirely. Directed by Lizzie Borden. Starring Honey, Adele Bertei and Jean Satterfield. 1983. Not Rated. 79 minutes.

“Hannah Arendt”: A biopic of the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist, focused on the 1961 trail of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann, which Arendt reported on for The New Yorker. The film weaves in archival footage of the Eichmann trial. Directed by Margarethe Von Trotta. Starring Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer and Axel Milberg. 2012. Not Rated. 113 minutes.

“The Early Works of Cheryl Dunye”: A compilation of Dunye’s early works which began her controversial, celebrated and unique filmmaking style in which she plays with and intertwines the concepts of documentary and narrative cinema. The films in this collection include: “Greetings From Africa,” “The Potluck and The Passion,” “An Untitled Portrait,” “Vanilla Sex,” “She Don’t Fade” and “Janine.”

“Faces Places”: 89-year old Agnès Varda, a major figure of French filmmaking and influencer of the French New Wave, teams up with J.R., a 33-year-old acclaimed photographer and muralist for a documentary on the road. They travel through villages of France, meeting and listening to the stories from the locals and creating large portraits of them. These heartwarming encounters highlight the tenderness of friendship and humanity. Directed by Agnès Varda and J.R. 2017. PG. 90 minutes.

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