What's your most re-watchable movie? The film you can return to for comfort or inspiration, to show off how well you know the story or immerse yourself in it? I always claim not to have the time to watch a full movie but somehow find the time to watch two or three episodes of a TV show. It's an illogical and possibly terrible habit. Recently, I was sick and suddenly had all the time to watch some movies. And I watched the classics (Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls), the rom-coms (27 Dresses, Seriously Single) and the inspirational tales (the first movie listed below ;), King Richard). It was lovely. Given the ultimate hope of this venture, I was inspired to share some great films about women in STEM. I hope these join your reading list.
I had to start with this pick. Hidden Figures honours three trailblazers: Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan, all of whom played critical roles in the creation and success of the United States space programme at NASA, despite the numerous challenges they faced. It's a vital story and a well-made film with incredible performances and a soundtrack I am absolutely obsessed with.
Shuri, the titular character's younger sister, is the most accomplished scientist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is witty, talented and confident in her abilities. As a whole, Black Panther will leave you feeling all the feels. It's a respectful, celebratory portrait of an African country with a valiant hero, strong female characters, a compelling villain and a sequel out later this year. If you haven't seen it, run to a screen. if you have seen it, run to a screen.
This documentary chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.
Marie Curie was probably one of the first historic women in STEM I had ever heard of. I think I saw her face in a kids encyclopaedia. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. Radioactive is her story; that of a passionate scientist working diligently to understand the world and having to endure exclusion and sexism for daring to be a woman while she did it.
Join high school-aged girls from around the world as they try to better their community through technology and collaboration in this thrilling, heartfelt documentary. By 2017, the app market will be valued at $77 Billion. Over 80% of these developers are male. The Technovation Challenge aims to change that by empowering girls worldwide to develop apps for an international competition. From rural Moldova to urban Brazil to suburban Massachusetts, CODEGIRL follows teams who dream of holding their own in the world’s fastest-growing industry. The winning team gets $10K to complete and release their app, but every girl discovers something valuable along the way.
Have you seen any of these? Did I miss any? The content we consume can change our lives. Seeing people doing incredible things might be just what you need to recognise your own power. Happy viewing!