• Play Hard
  • 9th Mar 2024
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  • 4 minutes

9 films celebrating strong women

Nyad – Netflix

This biographical drama follows the story of swimmer Diana Nyad (Annette Bening) and her multiple attempts to swim the Straits of Florida. A must-watch in a world where women are often underestimated for their age and physical abilities.

Diana Nyad shattered barriers, achieving what most people would call impossible – and until recently was the only person in the world who has done it. This film challenges the idea that women are limited by age or gender and serves as inspiration for all women who seek to defy stereotypes and achieve some truly incredible goals.

Jodie Foster is also incredible as Nyad’s best friend and coach. It’s also a brilliant story of a queer family and a celebration of an icon of the LGBTQ+ community.

Damsel – Netflix

This one came to Netflix on International Women’s Day – fitting. Mille Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame stars in this fantasy film that flips the traditional fairy story on its head.

Damsel sees Princess Elodie (Mille Bobby Brown) as she agrees to marry a handsome prince (Nick Robinson), only to discover that the royal family intends to sacrifice her to a fire-breathing dragon. Thrown into a cave with the fearsome creature, Elodie soon finds that she must rely on her wits and will to survive.

True spirit – Netflix

True Spirit follows the story of Jessica Watson, an Australian sailor who set out to become the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world at the age of just 16. The movie highlights her passion for sailing, showing her determination and courage to challenge herself, facing her unknown fears along the way.

Her journey shows that young women are capable of the most remarkable achievements in a sporting activity that has been traditionally male-centric, proving again that age and gender shouldn’t limit our aspirations or accomplishments.

Hidden Figures – Disney+/Amazon Prime

Hidden Figures tells the inspiring true story of three African American mathematicians who worked at NASA in the 1960s, playing crucial roles in astronaut John Glenn’s historic orbit around the Earth. However, that wasn’t their only challenge, as these women were forced to endure racial and gender discrimination.

Showcasing their intelligence and determination in the face of adversity, the movie celebrates their contributions to the space program all while struggling against systemic racism and sexism that was prevalent during the era. It is a true testament to how often women – especially women of colour – have been side-lined in history.

Little Women – Netflix

Louisa May Alcott’s original Little Women novel and the many (many) TV and film adaptations are as popular now as ever and the recent adaptation by director Greta Gerwig is no exception. The film beautifully captures the complex joys of family and sisterhood – while also looking into the challenges faced by women in pursuing their hopes and dreams in a society which was constrained by societal expectations.

Gerwig breathes new life into the beloved novel, infusing it with more modern sensibilities while also giving the characters a fresh voice. We follow the March sisters as they navigate lifes up and downs together, finding and wielding their power in different ways.

Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen play the March sisters, and also stars Laura Dern, Timothee Chalamet and Meryl Streep.


Young Woman and the Sea – Disney+

Star Wars star Daisy Ridley plays competitive swimmer and Olympic champion Trudy Ederle. Young Woman and the Sea is based on the true story that chronicles the first woman to ever swim across the English Channel. Gertude “Trudy” Ederie made the 21-mile swim from Battery Park in New York to Sandy Hook way back in 1926 setting an amazing record that has stood for 81 years.

Cabrini – in cinemas 15th March

After witnessing disease and poverty in the slums of 1889 New York City, Italian immigrant Francesca Cabrini (Cristiana Dell’Anna) embarks on a daring journey to persuade the hostile mayor (John Lithgow) to provide housing and healthcare for hundreds of orphaned children. With broken English and poor health, Cabrini uses her entrepreneurial mind to build an empire of hope unlike anything the world had ever seen.

Shirley – on Netflix 22nd March

Shirley Chisholm (Regina King) makes a historic trailblazing run for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination. Chrisholm of course was the first Black woman elected to Congress. The movie is written and directed by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), and also stars Lance Reddick in his final role before his death.


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Laura Kingston
Founder and Editor

Laura is the Founder and Editor of High Life North. She had the idea to set up an exclusively digital women’s magazine after feeling there was a gap in the market in the North East. With over 10 years of experience in marketing and PR, Laura had a very clear…


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