Feminist Tendencies

Feminism as a concept has gone in and out of vogue since the first suffragette demanded the right to vote, but throughout history there have always been remarkable women, prepared to claim their power in the name of a cause ('Ride to Freedom: The Rosa Parks Story', 'Veronica Guerin'), or just to rediscover their own self-worth ('Shirley Valentine', 'My Brilliant Career'). This collection does not only contain films about the political struggle of women to achieve equality ('Iron Jawed Angels'), if it did it would be a very short list because despite the fact that the rise of women in the workforce and in politics was one of the defining movements of the 20th century, very few films have been made on the subject - filmmaking being still a largely male-dominated pusuit. Now, as women are making films in greater numbers than ever, our own Niki Caro is a good example of someone ready and willing to tell a story about the oppression, and ultimate triumph of women in the 'post-feminist' 1980s ('North Country'). Perhaps women as an audience are now ready and willing to hear their own stories.

Bagdad Cafe (1987)

Director: Percy Adlon
Starring: Marianne Sagebrecht, CCH Pounder, Jack Palance

This enchanting and affectionate fable unveils, in a series of wonderful vignettes, the developing friendship between several oddball characters. Mari... Read more

Beaches (1988)

Director: Garry Marshall
Starring: John Heard, Barbara Hershey, Bette Midler, Spalding Gray

They met at the beach when they were children and formed a friendship that would last a lifetime. Filled with song and sentiment, this is a serio-comi... Read more

Being Julia (2004)

Director: Istvan Szabo
Starring: Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons, Michael Gambon, Bruce Greenwood, Miriam Margolyes

Hell hath no fury like the diva scorned in Istvan Szabo's wonderfully entertaining adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham novella 'Theatre'. Sparkling... Read more

Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

Director: Gurinder Chadha
Starring: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Juliet Stevenson

A sheer delight of a film about a young soccer player who overcomes personal obstacles to score a winning goal in the final seconds of a crucial match... Read more

Better Than Chocolate (1999)

Director: Anne Wheeler
Starring: Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox, Wendy Crewson

Karyn Dwyer and Christina Cox star as Maggie and Kim in this sweet and energetic lesbian love story. Maggie has flunked out of law school and is worki... Read more

Bread and Tulips (2001)

Director: Silvio Soldini
Starring: Licia Maglietta, Bruno Ganz, Antonio Catania, Giuseppe Battiston

Aka "Pane e Tulipani". After being left behind by her tour bus a bored housewife decides to hitchhike home, and after a few rides finds herself in Ven... Read more

Brick Lane (2007)

Director: Sarah Gavron
Starring: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik, Christopher Simpson, Zafreen , Naeema Beg...

Based on the best-selling novel by Monica Ali and telling the story of Nazneen, who at just seventeen years of age is taken from her Bangladeshi villa... Read more

Butterflies: Series 2 (1980)

Director: Various
Starring: Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer, Bruce Montague, Andrew Hall, Nicholas Lyndhurst

Bored housewife Ria (Wendy Craig) is still frustrated with her mundane life and her platonic relationship with Leonard is proving more problematic tha... Read more

Butterflies: Series 3 (1981)

Starring: Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Andrew Hall, Bruce Montague

In the third series Ria (Wendy Craig) remains frustrated by her mundane life with her successful, though dull, dentist husband, and two glib teenage s... Read more

Cagney and Lacey: Season 1 (1982)

Starring: Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless, John Karlen, Philip Baker Hall, Lance Henriksen, Grace...

Here was something entirely new: a cop show featuring two strong and intelligent female detectives in a male-dominated workforce. Credited as a ground... Read more