In a perfect world, media is more diverse than ever. Black Panther and Moonlight have proven the excellence of African filmmakers, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird nomination inspired more women to be directors, and Best Director awardees are no longer straight white men.
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But this is not a perfect world were diversity is the new norm. Misogyny is still a thing and cinema is not spared from it. “Of the top 250 films in 2014, female filmmakers made up only seven percent of directors,” Variety reports.
The reality of cinema is women are still fighting for a place behind the camera. What’s admirable about it is they don’t give a shit about celluloid ceilings. They keep creating, they keep moving, and they keep busting their asses until the celluloid ceiling above them breaks. So for this Women’s Day 2019, let’s diversify your watch list and recognize some works of female directors around the world.
Girl Walks Home Alone At Night dir. by Ana Lily Amirpour
Tagged as the first Iranian Western film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is set in an Iranian ghost town. The place is bleak and it reeks of death in every corner. This is because of a lonesome vampire who kills men preying on women. And of course, she does all of this as she rides a skateboard.
The Breaker Upperers dir. by Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami
Produced by Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi, this Kiwi comedy is about two best friends who run a business for people who are afraid to break up with their significant other. But when one starts to have second thoughts and falls for a client along the way, their friendship breaks apart.
Turbo Kid dir. by Anouk Whissell
Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a comic book nerd turns himself into his favorite superhero in order to save his only friend. Think Mad Max meets Kung-Fu Hustle with a Dune storyline. Perfect for B-movie and sci-fi fans.
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Dead Pigs dir. by Cathy Yan
From the director of Birds of Prey, Cathy Yan’s Sundance entry is about a pig farmer, a feisty salon owner, a sensitive busboy, an expat architect, and a disenchanted rich girl uniting when thousands of dead pigs float in the river, heading towards the city of Shanghai.
Obvious Child dir. by Gillian Robespierre
This film tells the story of a 20-something stand-up comic dealing with an unplanned pregnancy after her fling with a graduate student. As she navigates the complication of motherhood, she confronts realities of her gender and life for the first time.
Paris Is Burning dir. by Jennie Livingston
Here is an iconic and award-winning documentary about the LGBTQ+ community in New York. It focuses on New York drag queens and their “house” culture, which became a place of acceptance and camaraderie for members of the queer community. It also tackles issues on racism, poverty, and the AIDS crisis in the LGBTQ+ community.
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Cleo from 5 to 7 dir. by Agnès Varda
Cleo is a famous yet selfish pop singer who awaits the result of her biopsy. In order to avoid the reality of her mortality., she wanders aimlessly from place to place, meeting strangers and friends along the way.
Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus dir. by Dwein Baltazar
This Cinefilipino entry is a dark comedy dissecting infatuation and obsession. The lives of four men collide in the streets of Avenida as they search for something to complete them. In a twist of events, they all found it within a woman called Aileen.
Still from Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus