Lately I’ve become more and more frustrated with the various “best ever” lists that have been released because they rarely feature films by women, or if they do it’s usually one or two films. I think this is more a reflection of those who are polled for these kinds of lists, as well as a compounding of history on itself. For so long films by men have made up the bulk of the film canon and I think people are afraid to add new films to these revered lists. I also think many people haven’t seen very many films by women, or if they have it’s always the same handful of films. In an attempt to create a better, more inclusive list of great films by women, I polled over 500 critics, filmmakers, bloggers, historians, professors and casual film viewers, asking them to tell me what films directed (or co-directed) by women are essential viewing. Some people only responded with as little as five votes, others submitted hundreds of films. In the end, I received over 7,000 votes for 1,100+ different films. After tallying up this data, with ties factored in, I then had a list of 103 essential films directed by women.
Dido Elizabeth Belle: Elizabeth said something when we arrived in London. “We women are but the property of gentlemen.” But it came into my head that I have been blessed with freedom twice over. As a negro and as a woman.
John Davinier: I suppose you have.
Dido Elizabeth Belle: Or have I? Must not a lady marry even if she is financially secure? For who is she without a husband of consequence? It seems silly – like a free negro who begs for a master.
John Davinier: Well…unless… she marries her equal. Her true equal. A man who respects her.