Women’s History Month is celebrated every March to honor the women who made incredible strides and contributions to society. With the month of March slowly coming to an end, it’s important for people to celebrate women who paved the way for future generations.
Below are six films that highlight women history-makers who helped shape the world into what it is today.
‘Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker’
Starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, the Netflix Originals miniseries dramatizes the story of the life of Madam C.J. Walker. Walker, who was born in 1867, turned her rags to riches and by the 1910s became America’s first female self-made millionaire by creating a hair care product line. Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, inspired the series through her book “On Her Own Ground.” Netflix released the trailblazing bio series on March 20.
‘Queen of Katwe’
“Queen of Katwe” is a 2016 Disney biopic that depicts the life of Phiona Mutesi (portrayed by Ugandan actress Madina Nalwanga). Mutesi and her family grew up in the Katwe slum of Kampala, Uganda, and struggled to make ends meet. At the age of 10, Mutesi met a local recreation center volunteer named Robert Katende, who taught her how to play chess.
Through his teachings, Mutesi becomes a young chess champion of Uganda and gains exposure to the wider world by competing in tournaments abroad. Starring Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o as Mutesi’s mother, the film demonstrates how one person can overcome her circumstances of being born into poverty and build a bright future. The biopic currently streams on Disney Plus.
“Hidden Figures” tells the groundbreaking story of three African-American women who were some of the brains behind launching John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, into space. The biopic displays the journey of real-life mathematicians and engineers Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). These ladies worked for NASA and were essential to the success of early space travel. “Hidden Figures” is available for streaming on Prime Video.
‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’
“What Happened, Miss Simone?” is a 2015 American biographical documentary film that dramatizes the life of Eunice Kathleen Waymon, known formally as Nina Simone. Simone was an African-American singer, pianist, musician, and civil rights activist. The documentary provides viewers with never-before-heard recordings, exclusive interviews with her daughters and friends, and rare archival video footage. The documentary is currently available for streaming on Netflix.
“Harriet” is an American biopic based on the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The film stars actress Cynthia Erivo and dramatizes the journey of how Tubman escaped slavery before returning repeatedly to the South to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. “Harriet” is the first feature film centered on the life of the American hero. The film was released in theaters in November 2019 and is currently available for streaming on Prime Video.
“Dreamgirls” is an American musical drama that was released in 2006. Loosely based on the life of the 1960s girl group The Supremes, the film tells the story of three African-American women who formed a successful girl group and the struggles that come with keeping the group together. The drama stars Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, and Anika Noni Rose and is available for steaming on Hulu.