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Fresh (2022) - Mimi Cave
with Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Jonica T. Gibbs, e.a.

Just when she thought dating could not get any worse, Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) falls for Steve (Sebastian Stan), who happens to be the creepiest guy on the planet. First time director Mimi Cave juxtaposes both the intoxicating highs and the horrible lows of the 21st century dating reality for women, playing with the expectations, clichés, hopes and fears that are all too familiar to the audience. The result is this genius terrifyingly hillarious grindhouse thriller, that will have you simultaneously cry from laughter and scream of terror. 

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (2022) - Sophie Hyde
with Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack

A retired teacher (Emma Thompson) and a sex worker (Daryl McCormack) meet in a hotel room. She has been a widow for two years. He has been hired to enhance her sexual experience. She is very nervous. He is all calmness. She shares details about her personal life. He does so but sparingly. She has given a false name. So has he. And yet, the two find their own form of intimacy together, which brings about a life-changing experience.

Suffragette (2015) - Sarah Gavron
with Carey Muligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, e.a.

Maud Watts (Carey Muligan) is just an ordinary working girl, keeping her head down and trying to provide for her family, when all of a sudden, she is drawn into the plight of the suffragettes trying to get the vote for women. Maud's relatively tame activism quickly complicates her relationships with her husband, her employer and law enforcements. It is the encounters with them that must remind the viewer how much English society looked down on women, how little they were protected by the law, and how necessary it was to use violence in order to get what they wanted.


The Duchess (2008) - Saul Dibb
with Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper, e.a.

Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (Keira Knightley) became a true celebrity, when she married the most desirable bachelor in the country, William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes). And like many marriages of the era, the union failed to meet the personal and emotional needs of the spouses. This historical movie was really the first biographical one of its kind that explored how double gender standards weighed down on women within upperclass marriages and how the law supported husbands solely.


The Magdalene Sisters (2002) - Peter Mullan
with Anne-Marie Duff, Dorothy Duffy, Nora Jane Noone, e.a.

Ireland, 1964: Margaret (Anne-Marie Duff) is raped by her cousin; orphan Bernadette (Dorothy Duffy) is considered by her guardians to be too beautiful and flirty; and unmarried Rose (Nora Jane Noone) has just become a mother. They are forced by their families or caretakers into the Magdalene asylum, a washery where they have to work hard in squalid living conditions, and suffer mental, physical and sexual abuse on a daily basis. Their stories are based on those of the 30.000 Irish women who were wards at the Magdalen washeries during the 20th century.


Mustang (2015) - Deniz Gamze Ergüven
with Güneş Şensoy, Doğa Doğuşlu, Elit İşcan, e.a.

Five amazing longhaired orphaned girls witness their world being barred up as their family perceive them to be ready to be married off. With every physical or psychological barrier raised, Lale (Güneş Şensoy), Nur (Doğa Doğuşlu), Ece (Elit İşcan), Selma (Tuğba Sunguroğlu) and Sonay (İlayda Akdoğan) find more inventive ways to escape their prison. However, every attempt to break free is either struck down or has unforeseen consequences.

The Elements Trilogy (1996-2005) - Deepa Mehta

Fire (1996), Earth (1998) and Water (2005), also dubbed 'The Elements Trilogy', by Indian-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta tackle the position of different types of women within Indian society in relation to the complex mechanics of religion, politics and genderroles. Fire tells the story of two women trapped in traditional marriages who gradually fall in love with each other, Earth views the partition of India and Pakistan through the eyes of a young Parsi girl, and Water pays attention to the stifling treatment of widows living hidden lives in ashrams.


Jeune et Jolie (2013) - François Ozon
with Marine Vatch, Johan Leysen, Geraldine Pailhas, e.a.

Isabella (Marine Vacth), is a seventeen your old girl, who first explores her blooming sexuality under the straightforward and socially accepted circumstances: she invites the avances of a boy her own age, dates him for a bit and has sex with him for the first time, which she does not find all that pleasurable. She dares to challenge the notion, that this is the only way for her to discover herself, by taking extreme measures: he starts working as a callgirl, a profession that lets her embrace and explore her sexuality fully.

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Sex and the City (1998-2006) - David Cross
with Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall

Although some may say that Sex and the City hasn't exactly aged like a fine wine, this series was revolutionary when it first aired in 1998. For the first time ever, a primetime series depicted multiple successful single women, who openly talked about their sexuality and their experiences with romance, love and sex. Over six seasons, we followed the lives of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her friends Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) and Samantha Jones (Kim Catrall), as they roamed New York City in search for designer fashion, sex and love. As they got together over weekend brumch or cosmopolitans, they did not shy away from subjects such as funky tasting spunk, tea bagging, rimming, or Mr. Big and Mr. Too Big.

Girls (2013-2018) Lena Dunham
with Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, and Zosia Mamet

Whereas Sex and the City navigated the lives of four single women in their early thirties living in Manhattan, Girls followed the lives of four women in their early twenties living in Brooklyn. Unlike Carrie and her friends, protagonist Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) and her friends Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams), Jessa Johansson (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet), didn't have careers yet and were for the most part still living off their parents when we were first introduced to them. And their personal developments throughout the series were not so much about finding a missing part in their Holy Trinity - house, job, relationship - but about growing up. Girls was furthermore groundbreaking for its use of body diversity and characters that were not entirely likeable.

Mad Men (2007-2015) - Matthew Wiener
with Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, e.a.

Yes, I know. This series is predominantly about Don Draper's (Jon Hamm) crippling self-doubt, as he solidifies his image as a self-made man while his past is catching up with him. Some would argue though, that his protegé Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss) is just as much a protagonist in this story as he is. Maybe even a better one. And she is surrounded by many other well-written, rounded female characters too - Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks), Betty Draper (January Jones), Megan Calvet (Jennifer Paré) and Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka), just to name a few. Above all, all these characters follow a specific trajectory throughout the seven season of this series, that are reminiscent of the different paths women were taking when the male-dominated workplace in the United States was opening up to them in the 1960s.

Fleabag (2016-2019) - Phoebe Waller-Bridge
with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford, Olivia Colman, e.a.

Screenwriter and actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge offers you an insight into the mind of a young woman known only as Fleabag. Why Fleabag? Well, even though her uptight succesful sister, her c*nt of a godmother and her alcoholic brother-in-law seem like some of the biggest arseholes on the planet, Fleabag is by far the worst person you will ever meet. Not too long ago, she was a fun and loving woman. But the grief over her mother and her best friend have turned her into a cynical, manipulative and self-centered fleabag. Instead of improving the relationships with the people around her, Fleabag uses the audience as an unhealthy means to cope with her loss, her frustrations and her fears.  

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