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Kanopy Presents: 16 Free Films to Watch During Women’s History Month

Happy International Women’s Day 2021! Congratulations to the women of today, yesterday and the next generations to come! 

In honor of Women’s International Day and Women’s History Month, we invite you to watch Kanopy’s collection of 16 FREE inspiring films. 


At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. Explore her unique and unknown personal journey of her rise to the nation’s highest court.

Academy Award nominee. Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

Sisters of Selma

An unabashedly spiritual take on the Selma voting rights marches of 1965 from some of its unsung foot soldiers–Catholic nuns. Following “Bloody Sunday,” sisters from around the country answered Dr. King’s call to join the protests in Selma. Never before in American history had avowed Catholic women made so public a political statement.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

A provocative, rousing and often humorous account of the birth of the modern women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s through to its contemporary manifestations in the new millennium, direct from the women who lived it.

Best Documentary winner at the Independent Film Festival Boston. Nominated for Best Documentary at the Women Film Critics Circle Awards.


WOMAN is a worldwide project giving a voice to 2000 women across 50 different countries. Despite its very large scale, the film offers an intimate portrait of those who constitute half of the humanity. It is an opportunity to shed light on the in- justices women are subjected to all over the world, but what WOMAN would like to underline most is the inner strength of women and their capacity to change the world despite all the difficulties they are facing. In this new era where women’s voices resonate more and more, the aim of the film is not only to call for rights or focus on problems, but to find solutions and try to reconcile the two genders. The project deals with topics such as motherhood, education, marriage or financial independence but also menstruations or sexuality.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) led a prolific life. As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, she inspired generations with lyrical modern Afri-can-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

(Random House), she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before.

20th Century Women

A strong-willed single mother (Annette Bening) raises her teenage son with the help of two unconventional younger wom- en in this funny, heartwarming look at a makeshift family’s comic adventures in Santa Barbara during the summer of 1979.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (Mike Mills), and two Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Annette Bening). Nominated for Best Female Lead and Best Screen- play at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Lady Bird

Directed by Greta Gerwig and nominated for five Oscars, LADY BIRD is a warm, affecting comedy about a high schooler (Saoirse Ronan) who must navigate a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother (Laurie Metcalf) over the course of her eventful and poignant senior year of high school.

Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Pic- ture – Musical or Comedy. Film Independent Spirit Award winner for Best Screenplay.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Based on the celebrated novel by Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows the titular character (Chloe Grace Moretz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night.

Winner of a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Women Make Film

WOMEN MAKE FILM is an epic exploration of cinema history through the lens of some the world’s greatest directors – all women.

Official Selection at the Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Telluride Film Festival.

Half The Picture – Female Directors Speak Out

This celebrated film follows female directors working in Hollywood. HALF THE PICTURE uses the current EEOC investi- gation into discriminatory hiring practices as a framework to talk to these successful women directors about their career paths, struggles, inspiration and hopes for the future.

Winner of a #WhatNext Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Official Selection at the SXSW Film Festival.

Wonder Women

We are pleased that the critically acclaimed, now classic film, WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES is now available in our collection. From the birth of the 1940s comic book heroine, Wonder Woman, to the blockbusters of today, WONDER WOMEN! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about strong and healthy women.

Official Selection at the SXSW Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival.


Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, ANITA reveals the intimate story of a woman who spoke truth to power. An entire country watched as a poised, beautiful African-American woman sat before a Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while work- ing with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill’s graphic testimony was a turning point for gender equality in the U.S. and ignited a political firestorm about sexual harassment and power in the workplace that resonates still today. Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival and the Hot Docs Film Festival.

Whale Rider

On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From then on, Whangara chiefs, always the first-born, always male, have been considered Paikea’s direct descendants. Pai, an 11-year-old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief. But her grandfather Koro is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfill her destiny.

Wendy and Lucy

Wendy Carroll (Michelle Williams) is driving to Alaska in hopes of a summer of lucrative work at the Northwestern Fish cannery, and the start of a new life with her dog, Lucy. When her car breaks down in Oregon, however, the thin fabric
of her financial situation comes apart, and she confronts a series of increasingly dire economic decisions, with far-rang- ing repercussions for herself and Lucy. Winner of the Palm Dog and nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Nominated for Best Feature and Best Female Lead (Michelle Williams) at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Voted among the Top Independent Films of 2008 by the National Board of Review (USA).

The Little Hours

A subversive, hilarious comedy, THE LITTLE HOURS introduces three bored and volatile nuns Alessandra (Alison Brie), Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza), and Ginevra (Kate Micucci) who live under the watchful eye of Father Tommasso (John C. Reil- ly). The arrival of a handsome new groundskeeper (Dave Franco) – introduced to the sisters as a deaf mute to discourage temptation – soon leads to a frenzy of hormones, substance abuse, and wicked revelry. Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival. Nominated for an Audience Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.


Fed up with her abusive family situation, lack of school prospects and the “boys’ law” in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her style, drops out of school and starts stealing to be accepted into the gang. When her home situation becomes unbearable, Marieme seeks solace in an older man who promises her money and protection. Realizing this sort of lifestyle will never result in the freedom and independence she truly desires, she finally decides to take matters into her own hands.