52 Films By Women: A Definitive List

33. The Kids are All Right (2010)

Director: Lisa Cholodenko

Starring Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, and Annette Benning, The Kids are All Right is a sweet film about an unconventional family. A hit at Sundance, and a critical darling, Cholodenko’s film is a poignant account of the effects of life altering news on a group of people.

Other films directed by Lisa Cholodenko:

34. Morvern Callar (2002)

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Morvern Callar is the tale of a supermarket checkout girl who assumes her boyfriend’s identity after his death. She claims to have written his novel, publishing it under her own name. This slight film is more weighty than its premise suggests, with its gentle tone and its excellent character led central performance from Samantha Morton.

Other films directed by Lynne Ramsay:

35. Sister (2012)

Director: Ursula Meier

Set in Switzerland, Ursula Meier’s film tells the story of a 12 year old boy and his older sister. They live below a luxurious ski resort, and the boy steals from the rich guests in order to support his out of work sister.

Other films directed by Ursula Meier:

36. Brand: A Second Coming (2015)

Director: Ondi Timoner


2015 was a year for big budget glossy documentaries about celebrities. There was Montage of Heck, Amy, and Brand: A Second Coming. Ondi Timoner’s film explores the eclectic and contradictory world of Russell Brand, a comedian, Hollywood star, and self defined revolutionary/spiritual thinker.

Other films directed by Ursual Meier:

37. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012)

Director: Alison Klayman

A documentary about Chinese activist Ai Weiwei, Alison Klayman’s film follows the notable artist as he prepares for a series of exhibitions. It explores the reaction from Chinese authorities as Weiwei’s art becomes increasingly public and politicised, and the effect it has on Weiwei and his family.

38. Lore (2012)

Director: Cate Shortland

This coming of age film takes place during a tumultuous time in Europe’s history. As the Second World War heads towards its violent conclusion, a young girl attempts to lead her family to safety. The narrative involves a group of five former Hitler Youth trying to make sense of a dramatically changing world.

Other films directed by Cate Shortland:

39. The Selfish Giant (2013)

Director: Clio Barnard

Set in the North of England, The Selfish Giant tells the story of two young boys who steal scrap metal to make ends meet. They dream of wealth and fortune but what they find instead is something far more tragic.

Other films directed by Clio Barnard:

40. The Taste of Others (2000)

Director: Agnès Jaoui

A French film about love, and human connections; The Taste of Others is a smart piece of cinema that relies on the subtleties of language and the depth of its characters to tell its story. The theme is the attraction of opposites, and it explores the negotiations with self needed to get to know someone on a deeper level.

Other films directed by Agnès Jaoui:

41. The Headless Woman (2008)

Director: Lucrecia Martel

Lucrecia Martel’s film deals with the story of a woman and her psychological trauma after hitting something with her car. Ambiguous, and frequently frustrating, The Headless Women considers themes of guilt, grief, and delusion.

Other films directed by Lucrecia Martel:

42.  Pariah (2011)

Director: Dee Rees

A touching coming of age tale set in Brooklyn, New York, Pariah tells the story of a teenager trying to find her identity. Dee Rees’ film explores the experiences of a young lesbian and the difficulties she faces in expressing herself to her friends and family.

Other films directed by Dee Rees:

  • Bessie (2015)
  • Some episodes of Empire

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