Women-Directed Films Commemorate Women’s History Month

Vy Thai, Entertainment Writer

Women’s History Month (WHS) was originally celebrated in 1980 with President Jimmy Carter as the founder of this commemoration. He declared that the week of March 8, 1980 would be the week to commemorate women “who built America”. After six years, Congress started to designate the whole month of March to recognize the achievements of women. With hundreds of varied ways to commemorate women during this month, one fun way is to watch movies that were directed by a female.

Cinematography, directing, and the general film industry is male-dominated. According to Statista.com, a report from 2019 indicates that only 10.6% of film directors in Hollywood are women. Although this number is quite small, compared to 2018, the percentage had only risen by 6.1%. This proves how rare women are in the film industry, but it is not impossible to find a talented woman pursuing this career.

One great film released in 2017 titled Lady Bird was directed by Greta Gerwig. Gerwig created this masterpiece that goes over mother-daughter relationships, teenage achievements, and an abundance of high-school drama. She is the fifth woman to ever be nominated for the Best Director Oscar. Another film of hers, Little Women was also popularized due to depicting the lives of women who became their own heros. Gerwig also excels in writing and acting. Managing her life and other talents, she has directed three films total by the age of 37.

Another renowned film is Selma, which was released in 2014 by the director, Ava DuVernay. This movie narrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight against African-American injustice as well as the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. DuVernay was the first-ever African-American nominee for Best Director Golden Globe. She is known for her work that explores African-American culture, experience and life. DuVernay was the first African-American woman to win the best director prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her other film, Middle of Nowhere, making history again.

Lastly, a film directed by Chloé Zhao called Nomadland goes through the life of a woman who leaves home to travel the Western side of the United States in a dystopian theme. This film was released in 2020 and allowed Zhao to win a Golden Globe for the best motion picture. Not only did Zhao direct this movie, but she also received credit for writing and editing the film. She also won several other awards for this film, including two Academy Awards.

Watching movies has always been an enjoyable pastime, but many do not realize how much effort is put into these films. With directing being a male-dominated field, these women have changed history and their own lives by pursuing this career. Women’s History Month allows everyone to recognize these females and thousands of others who have changed the world one step at a time.