Mother's Day comes once a year, but we can celebrate motherhood and the wonderful things that mothers do every day by honoring the creativity, strength and perseverence of remarkable women. This is a list of documentaries about great women -- mothers, teachers and entertainers -- who have nurtured, inspired and enriched the lives of others.
Filmmaker Julia Haslett's interest in Simone Weil was prompted by a quote by the French philosopher: "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity." The quote is the central premise for Haslett's broader consideration of Weil's notions about the nature of compassion, the subject of this compassionate documentary based on six years of research and consideration of Weil's writings.
A documentary profile and tribute film to feminist Gloria Steinem, the famous founder of Ms. Magazine and a leading proponant of women's equal rights, with on camera interviews with Steinem, Bella Abzug and others in Steinem's circle of influential friends.
3. The Arbor
Clio Bernard tells the story of British playwright Andrea Dunbar's troubled life in an English working class 'estate' (housing project) by using actors on camera to mouth the testimony given by Dunbar's family and friends on audio tape. The film is a fascinating, and very moving profile of an extremely talented woman who suffered the results of poverty.
Filmmaker Marie Losier chronicles the relationship between performance artists Genesis P'Orrige (nee Neil Andrew Megson) and his wife and creative partner Lady Jaye (nee Jacqueline Breyer), whose love for each other lead them to get plastic surgery so they would look as much alike as possible.
French filmmaker Bertrand Norman follows the careers of five Russian ballerinas, giving an insider glimpse of the extreme discipline and dedication demanded of women who dance at the famed Kirov Ballet.
Filmmakers Duane Baughman and Johnny O'Hara present an inspiring biographical documentary about Benazir Bhutto, one of history's most fascinating and tragic political leaders.
A remarkable cinematic safari into the wilds of Kenya and Borneo to visit animal 'orphanages' for baby elephants and orangutans, cared for by two women, Daphne Sheldrick and Birute Galdikas, respectfully, who've dedicated their lives to raising the infants and returning them to the wild.
In In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee, filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem investigates her own adoption from a Korean orphanage, and discovers that she is not who she was presented to be. The film is a fascinating, shocking and extremely moving personal search for the filmmaker's real identity and her birth mother.
9. Orgasm, Inc.
“Orgasm, Inc.“ is Liz Canner’s entertaining and infuriating expose about the profit-driven pharmaceutical industry’s medicalization and commercialization of female sexuality. Filled with essential information, the film is a must see.
10. Good Hair
Comedian Chris Rock was genuinely alarmed when his six year old daughter, the adorable Lola, was crying because she didn't have 'good hair.' Set into motion by concerns about Lola's happiness and self esteem, Rock investigates America's -- and, in particular, African-American women's -- attitudes towards their hair.