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Break The Bias - International Women's Day

Birds Eye View curates a selection of films which strive to imagine an equal world.

Inspired by #BreakTheBias the campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2022, Birds Eye View has curated a selection of films from around the world which strive to imagine an equal world, free of discrimination. For the influential medium of film, breaking the bias not only depends on growing audiences for films by and about women, but also broadening these representations to include diverse female stories and experiences from right around the world. Each title we have selected is female directed and focussed and seeks to combat stereotypes and foster greater understanding. Featuring films from the UK, across Europe, to Vietnam, Australasia, the continent of Africa and the USA, the selection also features diasporic filmmakers from India, Iran, and Iraq. International Women’s Day’s Break the Bias campaign looks to a world where difference is valued and celebrated, an aim which resonates with Birds Eye View’s own mission to broaden perspectives of the world through cinema, and which inspires this selection of titles, all of which can be seen online, on BFI Player. 

 

Together we can forge women's equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

 

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Selected features

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Appropriate BehaviourAppropriate Behaviour

Comedy201586 minsDirector: Desiree Akhavan

Desiree Akhavan directs and stars in this witty, razor-sharp and fearless comedy following the sexual misadventures of a bisexual Brooklynite.

Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post) directs and stars in this fearless comedy about a twenty-something bisexual Iranian-American woman struggling to conform to traditional Persian standards.

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Daughters of the DustDaughters of the Dust

Drama1991112 minsDirector: Julie Dash

Julie Dash’s groundbreaking Daughters of the Dust remains urgent and poetic and continues to resonate, most recently inspiring Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

A fictionalised telling of Julie Dash’s father’s family of West African former slaves struggling to maintain their heritage. Part of the L.A Rebellion, Dash’s first feature made herstory as the first feature by a an African American woman to get a general release in the USA.

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I'm British But...I'm British But...

Documentary198929 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha

Britain beats to the sound of Bhangra and Bangla in Gurinder Chadha's debut film.

The first of a number of films from journalist turned filmmaker Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) telling stories of Indian people (mostly women) living in the UK, this one exploring themes of home and second generation identity, and the importance of Bangra music.

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Island of the Hungry GhostsIsland of the Hungry Ghosts

Documentary201898 minsDirector: Gabrielle Brady

A therapist helps traumatised refugees detained on a remote island where powerful natural and tribal rituals prevail, in this extraordinary mix of fact and fiction.

An experiential exploration of the injustice and trauma faced by those seeking asylum, focusing on Poh Lin, a Chinese Malaysian Australian therapist working in a high security detention facility on Christmas Island.

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JaddolandJaddoland

Documentary201891 minsDirector: Nadia Shihab

A visit to her mother’s home art studio in Texas prompts artist and filmmaker Nadia Shihab to explore the meaning of home and the search for belonging across three generations of her Iraqi family.

Filmmaker Nadia Shihab turns the camera on her mother, an Iraqi artist living an increasingly isolated life in the small town she’s made home in Texas. Her mother returns her gaze, taking photographs of Nadia, as each explores their cultural heritage through creativity.

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My 20th CenturyMy 20th Century

Drama198999 minsDirector: Ildikó Enyedi

Ildikó Enyedi's magical tale of twin girls born in Budapest at the very moment that Edison’s wondrous electric light-bulb is unveiled to the world.

A film about light, told in luminous monochrome. It’s 31 December 1899, Edison’s light bulb is being unveiled to the world and we’re transported to a magical realist Budapest where twin girls are born in that same moment - from here we follow their radically different paths.

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RafikiRafiki

Drama201883 minsDirector: Wanuri Kahiu

Romantic sparks fly between the daughters of two opposing politicians in Wanuri Kahiu’s neon-bright story of forbidden love in Kenya.

Popping with colour and energy, Rafiki tells the story of young Nairobi women Kena and Ziki, whose immediate connection blossoms into romance. This brave film was banned in Kenya where gay sex is punishable by 14-years in jail following director Wanuri Kahiu’s refusal to change the ending.

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Something DifferentSomething Different

Drama196381 minsDirector: Věra Chytilová

Věra Chytilová's first feature is an important work of women's cinema, which contrasts the parallel stories of a gymnast (filmed as documentary) and a housewife (told as fiction).

Vera Chytilová's (Daises) first feature-length film, and one of the breakout films of the Czech New Wave, intersperses two narratives in parallel: the story of Vera, a fictional housewife living in Czechoslovakia, and that of Eva, a real-life Olympic gymnast.

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SouadSouad

Drama2021102 minsDirector: Ayten Amin

Double lives and double standards in Egypt, as a teenage girl contends with religion and social media to define herself.

A recent #ReclaimTheFrame supported title, telling the story of Souad as she navigates teenage life in contemporary Egypt, caught between the standards expected of her by both traditional religious values and social media pressures.

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The ArborThe Arbor

Biopic201090 minsDirector: Clio Barnard

Clio Barnard's film about Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar mixes reconstruction, interviews (performed by actors) and scenes from the plays.

The first of Clio Barnard’s Bradford based tales (Ali & Ava), this one celebrating the life and work of playwright Andrea Dunbar (Rita, Sue and Bob Too) blending fact with fiction, testimonies with recreation, theatre with cinema.

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The Third WifeThe Third Wife

Drama201892 minsDirector: Ash Mayfair

A fourteen-year-old girl falls for another of her polygamous husband's wives in this award-winning coming-of-age tale of love and self-discovery.

Fourteen year old May finds herself in a forced marriage to an older polygamous man, facing pressure to bear him a baby boy while still coming of age herself. She finds compassion in her husband’s second wife, developing in a forbidden love in this beautifully understated tale set in 19th Century Vietnam.

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The Watermelon WomanThe Watermelon Woman

Comedy199785 minsDirector: Cheryl Dunye

Cheryl Dunye's smart and funny romance - thought to be the first feature directed by a black lesbian - remains a breath of fresh air decades on.

“Sometimes you have to create your own history.” This ‘dunyementary’ tells of Cheryl, an aspiring filmmaker (Dunye) who discovers and sets out to solve the mystery of a (fictional) 1940s Black actress known only as the ‘watermelon woman’ in this first feature by an out Black lesbian.

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TomboyTomboy

Drama201182 minsDirector: Céline Sciamma

Tender drama from Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Girlhood) about a ten-year-old child exploring a new gender identity.

Gender identity and expression is explored in this tender coming of age drama from Celine Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Petite Maman). 10-year-old Laure navigates a new identity as ‘Mickael’, a new neighborhood in Paris and a new friendship when Laure meets a local girl Lisa.