Whale Rider (2003) Niki Caro
Empowering and sporting a deafening theme about the significance of giving girls the same chances as boys, the folktake like film is subversive and moving, with a knockout performance from a young Keisha Castle-Hughes.
Le Bonheur (1966) Agnes Varda
There’s a reason why this one makes the list and I left Cleo from 5 to 7 off, which all comes down to Le Bonheur’s masterful use of expression through color. The oranges and yellows leap from the page in this slight satirical look at romance with it’s vibrancy muting the edge, leading to a compelling experience unlike most.
An Angel at My Table (1990) Jane Campion
A filmmaker who should be considered unquestionably as one of the greats, Jane Campion’s 1990 film An Angel at my Table is a delicate look at a woman dealing with overwhelming persecution in an age where mental illness was misunderstood and emotions of women greater scrutinized.
Bright Star (2009) Jane Campion
Campion is the only director to appear twice on this list and it’s simply because there was no way I wasn’t including Bright Star on the list. It’s an absolute much watch with two of my favorite performances I’ve ever watched in Abbi Cornish and Ben Whishaw as lovers Fanny Brawne and John Keats. Lyrical in it’s composition with some of the most tangible photography I’ve seen in a film, Bright Star is a stunning and artistic piece of work from start to finish.