A film that displays feminist philosophy and shows action through a female(s) point of view, often discussing political, economical and cultural oppression of women in society. Stemming from literary and film theory, it also describes non-traditional methods for reading, understanding, and evaluating films from the viewpoint of how they portray women. Unlike most genres, which arise formally out of successfully repeated conventions and formulas, feminist filmmaking is defined ideologically. These films often point out the necessity to reconsider film history, its existing stereotypes and formulas — and along with it, women’s roles in both cinematic narratives and society — through subversion and re-definition. Some films acknowledge the typical sexual objectification, weakness and stock images (the good mother, the vamp, the fallen woman, the waif) assigned to women characters as a way to unbury long-accepted norms. Others favor eliminating these constructed roles altogether by presenting strong, independent women transcending inherited definitions, while some more controversial features (to subvert the genre) substitute women into roles historically reserved for men.
A Question of Silence, by Marleen Gorris – 1982
Marianne and Julianne, by Margarethe Von Trotta – 1981
Heart and Guts, by Ana Carolina – 1982
“A feminist film should challenge some kind of pre-set normative structure, it should include some sort of intersectional analysis about race, class, sexualities, gender, religion, etc., it should also include a critique of the power structures holding those categories in place, it should challenge the naming of categories, and putting people into a box that they do not fit in. A feminist film does not need to be made by a woman, but needs to include all of the above things.”
-Anna Feuerhelm, Feminist Film Studies, 2007