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Empowerment on Screen: 54 Must-See Movies Featuring Strong Female Leads

I have formulated a list of films containing interesting, inspiring and/or strong female characters. The list is in no way complete. It is meant as an inspiration only. It was however, up until recently, quite difficult to find good quality movies with females in interesting leading roles and as you can see, there is not a whole lot of new ones. (Please keep in mind that this list will not be updated after publishing.)

Anyway, it's time to get the popcorn ready and let yourself be inspired and entertained!

I have highlighted the movie titles of my personal recommendations.

"Hidden Figures" (2016) acted by Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer & Janelle Monaé D: Theodore Melfi

"Suffragette" (2015) acted by Carey Mulligan D: Sarah Gavron

"The Eagle Huntress - a documentary" (2016) narrator: Daisy Ridley D: Otto Bell

"The Dressmaker" (2015) acted by Kate Winslet

D: Jocelyn Moorhouse

"Starwars; The Force Awakens" (2015) acted by Daisy Ridley

D: J.J. Adams

"The Girl King" (2015) acted by Malin Buska D: Mika Kaurismäki

”The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister” (2010) acted by Maxine Peake
 D: James Kent

“The World Unseen” (2007) acted by Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth D: Shamim Sarif

”Camille Claudel” (1988) acted by Isabelle Adjani D: Bruno Nuytten

”Sunshine and Oranges” (2010) acted by Emily Watson
 D: Jim Loach

”Water” (2005) acted by Lisa Ray
 D: Deepa Mehta

"Pope Joan" (2009) acted by Johanna Wokalek D: Sönke Wortmann (based on Donna Woolfolk Cross's brilliant book by the same name)

“The Countess” (2009) acted by Julie Delpy
 D: Julie Delpy

"Frida" (2002) acted by Selma Hayek

D: Julie Taymor

"Holy Smoke" (1999) acted by Kate Winslet D: Jane Campion

"The Color Purple” (1985) acted by Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey D: Steven Spielberg

”I Can’t Think Straight” (2009) acted by Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth D: Shamin Sarif

“The Scarlet Letter” (2004) acted by Demi Moore
 D: Roland Joffe

”Hilary and Jackie” (1998) acted by Emily Watcon and Rachel Griffiths
 D: Anand Tucker

"The Lady" (2011) acted by Michelle Yeoh D: Luc Besson

"Maleficent" (2014) acted by Angela Jolie

D: Robert Stromberg

"Frozen" (2013) voice by Idina Menzel

D: Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee

"Hysteria" (2011) acted by Maggie Gyllenhaal

D: Tanya Wexler

“Julie & Julia” (2009) acted by Meryl Streep and Amy Adams 
D: Nora Ehron

“Mental” (2012) acted by Toni Collette
 D: P.J. Hogan

“Avatar” (2009) acted by Zoe Soldana and Sigourney Weaver 
D: James Cameron

”Gorillas in the Mist” (1988) acted by Sigourney Weaver
 D: Michael Apted

”Out of Africa” (1985) acted by Meryl Streep 
D: Sydney Pollack

”Beyond Borders” (2003) acted by Angelina Jolie
 D: Martin Campbell

”Baunti aur Babli” (2005) acted by Rani Mukerjii
 D: Shaad Ali

"The Magdalene Sisters" (2002) acted by Eileen Walsh, Dorothy Duffy and others 
D: Peter Mullan

"La Femme Nikita" (1993) acted by Anne Parillaud D: Luc Besson

"Jackie Brown" (1997) acted by Pam Grier D: Quentin Taratino

"Raise of the Red Lanthern" (1991) acted by Li Gong, Saifei He, Cuifen Cao D: Yimou Zhang

”Eric Brockovich” (2000) acted by Julia Roberts 
D: Steven Soderbergh

”Chocolat” (2000) acted by Juliette Binoche 
D: Lasse Hallstrøm

”Elizabeth” (1998) & "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (2007) acted by Cate Blanchett 
D: Shekhar Kapur

”Cleopatra” (1963) acted by Elizabeth Taylor 
D: Joseph Mankiewicz plus two more credits

”I am Dina" (2002) acted by Maria Bonnevie D: Ole Bornedal (based on the fabulous book by the same name)

"Divergent" (2011) acted by Shailene Woodley

D: Niel Burger

”Fried Green Tomatoes” (1982) acted by Kathy Bates, J. Tandy, M.S Masterson
 D: Jon Avnet

"Interstellar" (2014) acted by Jessica Chastain

D: Christopher Nolan

“The Hours” (2002) acted by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne More
 D: Stephen Daldry

“The Help” (2011) acted by Emma Stone
 D: Tate Taylor

"Thelma & Louise" (1991) acted by Geena Davis & Susan Sarandon D: Ridley Scott

“Veronica Guerin” (2003) acted by Cate Blanchett
 D: Joel Schumacher

”The Mask of Zorro” (1998) acted by Catherine Zeta-Jones 
D: Martin Campbell

”Catherine the Great” (1996) acted by Catherine Zeta-Jones 
D: Marvin Chomsky plus one more credit. 
 (I also liked the version with Marlene Dietrich)

"Black" (2005) acted by Rani Mukherjee D: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

"Under the Tuscan Sun" (2003) acted by Diane Lane D: Audrey Wells

"Desperately Seeking Susan" (1986) acted by Rosanna Arquette and Madonna D: Susan Seidelman

"Enough" (2002) acted by Jennifer Lopez

D: Michael Apted

”Australia” (2008) acted by Nicole Kidman 
 D: Baz Luhrmann

"Bordertown" (2006) acted by Jennifer Lopez

D: Pedro Almodóvar

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book description of the hidden camino by louise sommer


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