Published: 15th July 2022

8 trailblazing films about women in politics

Have you ever watched a film that changed your view of the world? Or took you down a different career path?

Studies show that the content and issues you’re exposed to have the most impact on your beliefs. That’s why it’s so important to share diverse depictions of gender across film and TV.

In this list, we’ve rounded-up 8 films and documentaries that share uplifting stories about female politicians and activists that we hope will inspire young people interested in making positive change.

Becoming

discrimination, language

Becoming is a documentary about former first lady Michelle Obama as she looks at her life, hopes and connection with others whilst touring with "Becoming."

On the Basis of Sex

infrequent strong language

On the Basis of Sex is a drama, based on a true story, concerning US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's fight for gender equality.

Language

There is infrequent strong language ('f**k'), as well as moderate terms such as 'prick' and 'bitch', and milder terms including 'dick', 'asshole', 'bullshit', 'shitty', 'balls', 'damn', and 'Jesus Mary Joseph'

There are references to gender discrimination, infrequent use of the discriminatory term 'negro', a brief scene of mild sex in which a man and woman kiss passionately before falling on to a bed, and mild sex references. There are also scenes of smoking.

Suffragette

infrequent strong language, moderate violence, a scene of force-feeding

Suffragette is a British drama, set in 1912 and 1913, that tells the story of the suffragette movement.

Language

There is a single use of strong language ('f**k'). There is also infrequent moderate and mild bad language, including uses of 'bitches' and 'bleeding'.

Violence

In one scene a group of suffragettes at a political rally are attacked by police officers. Women are knocked to the ground, kicked, and struck with truncheons. One woman is seen to have blood on her face.

Disturbing images

In one scene a female prison inmate is force-fed. As the struggling woman is restrained, a rubber tube attached to a funnel is inserted into one of her nostrils and white liquid in poured into the funnel.

Other issues include a scene in which a suffragette is knocked down and killed after colliding with a race horse at the Epsom Derby. The collision is very crunchy but there is no clear sight of blood or injury detail.

There are also scenes of adult cigarette smoking and brief female buttock nudity.

Knock Down The House

infrequent strong language

Knock Down The House is a US political documentary which follows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean, Cori Bush and Amy Vilela as they challenge the establishment and run for congress.

Language

There is infrequent strong language ('f**k') as well as uses of 'bitch', 'hell', 'shit', 'God' and 'butt.'

There is real footage from the protests which took place in Ferguson following the murder of Michael Brown. During a debate, a political candidate makes a verbal reference to a man having cut his girlfriend's face with glass. A political candidate says that she has been referred to as a 'bitch' and told to go back to her own country.

The Divine Order

moderate sex, sex references, nudity, language

The Divine Order is a Swiss comedy-drama in which a housewife causes a stir in her conservative town when she leads a campaign for equal voting rights for women.

Sex

There is a scene in which a man positions himself between a woman's legs to perform oral sex. In another scene, women attend a class at which a speaker passes round mirrors and encourages them to examine their genitals and identify which animal it most resembles, telling them 'love your vaginas and the orgasms will come'.

Nudity

A woman finds a pornographic magazine in her home and flicks through it. There are pictures of topless women on the cover and inside. In another scene, a dart is thrown at another picture of a topless woman.

Language

There is moderate bad language ('pussy'), as well as milder bad language such as 'bloody' and 'bastard'.

There is implied violence. A woman claims a wound on her forehead was sustained accidentally but her friends seem to suspect domestic violence. In another scene, two men lunge at one another and have cuts and bruises in subsequent scenes. There's a passing reference to people smoking cannabis.

Gulaab Gang

moderate violence, implied rape, moderate bad language

Gulaab Gang is a Hindi language drama about a gang of rural women who protect the vulnerable, as they clash with a female politician at election time.

Violence

There are scenes of fighting, which include blows with sticks, sickles and axes, as well as punches and kicks. There is some gun violence, resulting in brief blood spurts. There is a scene of implied rape, in which a man approaches a young woman and briefly struggles with her, before the camera moves away.

Language

There are Hindi uses of moderate and mild bad language (eg 'saali', 'bitch', 'saala').

Made In Dagenham

Contains strong language

Made In Dagenham is a British film that dramatises an industrial dispute in the late 1960s in which women protested against sexual discrimination and campaigned for equal pay.

Language

There is occasional use of strong language ('f**k').

An implied sex scene also occurs in which a clothed couple are seen in the back of a car.

There are frequent scenes of smoking throughout.

Miss Sloane

strong language, brief strong sex

Miss Sloane is a political thriller in which a lobbyist takes on the US gun lobby.

Language

There is strong language ('motherf**ker' and 'f**k'). There is also moderate and mild bad language, including uses of 'bitch', 'bullshit', 'crap', 'dick', 'piss off', 'screwed', 'shit' and 'son of a bitch'.

Sex

A couple's heads and shoulders are seen in close-up as a man thrusts into a woman. There are also some mild verbal sex references.

Other issues include drug references, portrayals of prescription drug misuse, mild threat and an implied shooting.