March is National Women’s History Month, and one of the best ways to become more educated about the triumphs and accomplishments women have made for centuries is through documentaries. Over the past few years, many documentaries have been created that observe the lives of successful women and give an in-depth look at the strides women have made in business, society, politics, and everyday life. The following is a list of women-centric documentaries available to watch on Netflix US.
What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015) details the life and times of 1960’s singer-songwriter Nina Simone and her work in both the music business and the ongoing fight for civil rights. The documentary includes never before seen archival footage of Simone and her performances as well as interviews with her colleagues and her daughter.
Iris (2015) documents the adventures of flamboyant 93 year old New York fashionista Iris Apfel. It explores her passion for not only art and fashion, but also for living life to the fullest and spreading positivity to the people around her. In spite of the glitz and glamour of her life, she retains the morality and work ethic she was brought up to have in Depression-era middle class Queens.
A Ballerina’s Tale (2015) follows the journey of Misty Copeland. Despite many struggles, including six fractures and rejection due to her body type and background, Misty followed her dream to become the first African American woman enlisted as a principal dancer in the prestigious American Ballet Theater.
Tig (2015) tells the story of comedienne Tig Notaro, who overcame a life threatening infection and the death of her mother only to be diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer, all in the same year. Through all this, Tig manages to find comedy in a dark place and share it with the world both on and off stage.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014) examines how women have exercised their right to protest from decade to decade to challenge sexism, racism, and homophobia in the government and society, starting with the founding of the National Organization for Women in 1966 and carrying on all the way to the “slut walk” protests of today.
The Hunting Ground (2015) tackles the “taboo” issue of rape on college campuses. It follows a group of brave women as they confront and expose the colleges and universities that chose to protect the perpetrators of sexual assault rather than the victims, as well as examining the motives behind why these institutions choose to do so.
Miss Representation (2011) investigates the harmful sociological effects of the rampant sexualization and degradation of women in mass media. Media experts and underrepresented women come together to create a discussion on how the “sex sells” ideology puts money in the pockets of advertisers while perpetuating sexism.
These are just a few of the inspiring documentaries Netflix has to offer. Take time this Women’s History Month to reflect on how women of all races, classes, sexual orientations, and backgrounds have helped make this world a better place.