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Water Cooler: Films to send off Women’s History Month

UPDATED: Tue., March 30, 2021

Canadian zoologist Anne Innis Dagg is the subject of the 2017 documentary film “The Woman Who Loves Giraffes,” directed by Alison Reid.
Canadian zoologist Anne Innis Dagg is the subject of the 2017 documentary film “The Woman Who Loves Giraffes,” directed by Alison Reid.

Women’s History Month is drawing to a close, but you still have time to give it the proper sendoff. Here are a few films to stream on Kanopy ( to help learn more about and celebrate the contributions of women in the United States and around the world. The films are free to stream with a Spokane Public Library card.

Films directed by women

“Kedi: The Cats of an Ancient City” – This documentary focuses on the lives of the thousands of cats that roam the metropolitan streets of Istanbul and explores how they shape the character of the city. Directed by Ceyda Torun. 2016. 79 minutes.

“Meek’s Cutoff” – Stephen Meek leads a group of settlers along the Oregon Trail. To satisfy his ego and supposedly get over the Cascade Mountains faster, Meek takes the group through an unmarked path across a high plain desert. In the face of extreme heat, hunger and thirst, heightened survival instincts start to create tension among the group. Directed by Kelly Reichardt. Starring Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood and Paul Dano. 2011. PG. 103 minutes.

“Night Catches Us” – In 1976, a former Black Panther returns to his old neighborhood in Philadelphia. He quickly finds himself drawn into the racial tension, drama and rivalries he had once left behind. Directed by Tanya Hamilton. Starring Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington. 2010. R. 90 minutes.

“The Juniper Tree” – A loose retelling of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Set in medieval Iceland, the story follows two sisters fleeing for their safety after their mother was accused of witchcraft and burned to death. In search of a place to stay, one of the sisters casts a spell on a family of farmers. They are taken in to form an impromptu family unit, but the manipulative sorcery begins to take its toll. Directed by Nietzchka Keene. Starring Björk. 1990. 78 minutes.

Films about women

“Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin” – An exploration of Ursula K. Le Guin’s career in writing science fiction and fantasy, and how she helped those literary genres garner respect and mainstream popularity. Directed by Arwen Curry. 2019. 69 minutes.

“Helen Gurley Brown: The Original Cosmo Girl” – A profile of longtime editor-in-chief of “Cosmopolitan” magazine and publishing legend Helen Gurley Brown. Produced by A&E television network. 1997. 50 minutes.

“Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority” – The spectacular political and personal journey of an Asian American woman who defied barriers or sexism and racism to make American political history. Mink became the first woman of color in the United States Congress in 1965, then later ran for U.S. president and co-authored the landmark legislation of Title IX. Directed by Kimberlee Bassford. 2008. 57 minutes.

“Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” – An insight into the life and work of Lorrain Hansberry, playwright and writer best known for her play, “A Raisin in the Sun.” The film features interviews with the play’s original cast members Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Glynn Turman, director Lloyd Richards and producer Phil Rose, as well as Harry Belafonte and Amiri Baraka. Directed by Tracy Heather Strain. 2017. 118 minutes.

“The Woman Who Loves Giraffes” – The story of biologist Anne Innis Dagg who made an unprecedented solo journey at the age of 23 to study giraffes in South Africa. Now at age 86, she offers reflection on her life and work, as well as the current state of wild giraffes today. Directed by Alison Reid. 2019. 83 minutes.

“Mankiller: Activist. Feminist. Cherokee Chief.” – The story of Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985. Get an in-depth look at her life’s work, fighting injustice and giving a voice to the voiceless. Directed by Valerie Red-Horse Mohl. 2019. 57 minutes.

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