Strong movies by female directors

Everyone's talking about equal opportunities for women. Here are a number of strong films made by women.

Tigre (2017)
Silvina Schnicer
Argentina
93′
A woman visits her home on an island in the Tigre Delta in an attempt to reconnect with her son, but finds that returning and reconciliation are never easy, in this atmospheric family drama from Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra Guardiola.
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La belle et la meute (2017)
Kaouther Ben Hania
Tunisia
101′
During a student party, Mariam, a young Tunisian woman, meets the mysterious Youssef and leaves with him. A long night will begin, during which she’ll have to fight for her rights and her dignity. But how can Justice be made when it lies on the side of the tormentors?
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Lazzaro Felice (2018)
Alice Rohrwacher
Italy
127′
The tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. A loyal bond is sealed when Tancredi asks Lazzaro to help him orchestrate his own kidnapping.
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with bonus
Que tan lejos (2006)
Tania Hermida
Ecuador
91′
Bonus: Interview with Tania Hermida
Self-discovery journey of two girls in their mid twenties while they travel along the Ecuadorian mountains and coasts. Esperanza (Hope) and Tristeza (Sadness) will not find postcard views or perfect love, but their journey will teach them there’s a world beyond that.
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On the Path (2010)
Jasmila Zbanic
Bosnia and Herzegovina
103′
Luna and Amar are a couple. Their relationship is under great strain. First of all, Amar loses his job for being drunk at work. Luna is very worried and has little hope of realising her fragile dream of having a child with Amar. But her fears for their future increase when Amar takes on a well-paid job in a Muslim community hours away from where they live.Only after quite some time has elapsed during which they have had no contact with each other, is Luna allowed to visit Amar in this community of conservative Wahhabis in its idyllic lakeside location. She notices that the men and veiled women live in strict segregation and are closely watched. Luna asks Amar to return home with her but Amar insists that life in this isolated community of faithful followers has brought him peace and also keeps him from drinking. When he returns home a few weeks later, Luna realises that Amar’s attitude to religion has fundamentally changed. Amar claims that his only interest is to become a better person, but Luna finds it extremely difficult to follow his line of thinking. She begins to question everything that she has believed in, even her desire to have a child. As the wounds of a tragic war-filled past continue to haunt her, Luna tears herself apart searching if love is truly enough to keep her and Amar together on the path to a lifetime of happiness.
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My Name is Salt (2013)
Farida Pacha
India
92′
Year after year, for an endless eight months, thousands of families move to a desert in India to extract salt from the burning earth. Every monsoon their salt fields are washed away, as the desert turns into sea. And still they return, striving to make the whitest salt in the world. The desert extends endlessly - flat, grey, relentless. There is not a tree or blade of grass or rock. But there is one thing in abundance: salt. Salt is everywhere, lying just beneath the cracked, baked surface of the earth. This is the Little Rann of Kutch, 5000 sq kms of saline desert. And for eight months of the year, the salt people live here - laboriously extracting salt from this desolate landscape. They have been doing this for generations. Year after year, they migrate from their villages, 40,000 of them, to live on this bleak land without water, electricity or provisions. Arriving just after the monsoon, Sanabhai and his family will live here from September until April. Their nearest neighbour is a kilometre away. They communicate by flashing mirrors in the sunlight. Sanabhai’s wife Devuben walks across the bare, trackless desert to chop firewood. They buy the family’s water supply from a private tanker that comes once a week. Sanabhai has taken a large loan from the salt merchant in town as an advance on his salt harvest. He needs money to dig a well to reach the saline water 70 feet below ground, and to buy the diesel for the pump which draws the brine into the salt pans. Over the next few months, the only sound to break the silence of the desert is the mechanical drone of the pump’s engine. It takes eight months for the brine to crystallise into salt. Knee-deep in the brine pond, under the blinding glare of the sun, Sanabhai and his family trample the ground to prevent the salt from congealing. Once the brine has evaporated enough to allow the salt to be handled, they gather it with heavy wooden rakes until large crystals have formed. Their labor is rhythmic, a dance that mirrors the dance of the mirages on the burning horizon. The white crystals are as sharp as glass. Only two of them have rubber boots. Several times in a day Sanabhai inspects the quality of the salt crystals and keeps a close watch on the level of water in the salt pans. Two of Sanabhai’s children - a boy and a girl aged eleven and eight- go to a school recently opened by an NGO. Everyday at 11, after their morning’s work at the salt pans, they cycle off to school - just another hut in the vast emptiness of the desert, but with one difference: the children have planted paper flowers around it. In April, the salt merchant sends his man to inspect the salt. No good, he says: the crystals are small, not white enough. He cuts the price agreed with Sanabhai at the beginning of the season. Sanabhai is downcast, but he shrugs his shoulders: what can you do? The next salt season will certainly be better. Meanwhile, somewhere at the edge of the desert, mountains of salt lie next to the railway tracks waiting for transport to the city. The season is over and the monsoon is on its way: the heavy rains will soon wash the family’s salt fields away. The desert itself will not remain a desert anymore, but will turn into a sea. And the only way one can cross it is by boat.
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Western (2017)
Valeska Grisebach
Bulgaria
119′
A group of German construction workers start a tough job at a remote site in the Bulgarian countryside. The foreign land awakens the men's sense of adventure, but they are also confronted with their own prejudice and mistrust due to the language barrier and cultural differences. The stage is quickly set for a showdown when men begin to compete for recognition and favor from the local villagers.
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Un amor (2012)
Paula Hernández
Argentina
100′
Does love at first sight exist? This may certainly be the case, but sometimes you need time to be sure of this love. This film describes such a story about getting to know somebody and falling in love as a teenager, and about meeting again many years later. It begins in the 70s, in the summer in a small town by the river. Bruno and Lalo are teenagers and good friends. They hang around together in the heat, until one rainy day Lisa turns up, a beautiful young woman who capriciously and quick-wittedly turns the heads of both boys - and then decides on one of them. Three decades later she is back again and finds the friends from her youth living in differing situations. "I am single now", she says, but I can't get the picture of the three of us out of my head. No, she is certainly no longer the same Lisa for both men as she was back then. The pictures and memories that one had of one another, are these still any use in the present? What was it like back then, this love? What did we want, what happened to us? They ponder these questions in front of the camera, giving voice to their memories. How does a love story and history fit together? Can you carry on where you left off three decades ago? These and other questions are pondered by this film about making friends and falling in love as a teenager, and of meeting again many years later. The wonderfully easy-going triangle of their adolescence can probably not be revived. But what about unique and true love from back then? Paula Hernández’ film is also an experiment about how feelings are linked to the spirit of the time the ups and downs of life, in which light, air and sun play a not insignificant role. An intensive, thoughtful, atmospherically very emotionally intoned film about love and about time, which gives this love a new dimension.
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Salt of this Sea (2008)
Annemarie Jacir
Palestine
105′
Soraya, 28, born and raised in Brooklyn, decides to return to live in Palestine, a country that her family was exiled from in 1948. On arriving in Ramallah, Soraya tries to recover the money left in an account by her grandparents but meets with refusal from the bank. Her path then crosses that of Emad, a young Palestinian whose ambition, unlike hers, is to leave the country for good. To escape the constraints linked to the situation in Palestine but also to earn their freedom, Soraya and Emad take things into their own hands, even if this means breaking the law. In this quest for life, we follow their trail through the History of a lost Palestine. Annemarie Jacir is telling not only or simply the story of a woman that comes to visit a region where her grandparents lived («here!»), no, the palestinian filmmaker is taking us as viewers deep into that, what facts and figures could never describe. It is this strong atmosphere, she has been creating, that touches us, it's the images of a well known situation, but again, not only the images in the photografic sense, she reaches in the way she's telling this little journey a level of inside view, that has in it's silent, feverish and constantly instabile way breathtaking and heartstopping moments. SALT OF THIS SEA is one of those movies, that give us an inner view of a situation that we all know somehow and where we run out of words to discribe. And this seems to me today much more important then to repeat what we know. Annemarie Jacirs movie is touching, because it goes under the surface even by simply showing surfaces, it goes under the surface by having a wonderful actress who is able to speak not only in words. And it goes there because she did put together so many little visible and invisible elements, without pointing them out: They are simply there, from the first moment, and they speak for themselves each of them and all together. The filmmaker created a kind of soft explosive that is not blessing but touching.
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Cinco dias sin Nora (2009)
Mariana Chenillo
Mexico
92′
Before dying, Nora devises a plan to make José, ex-husband, take care of her funeral. But she misses something-the only flaw in the plan, a mysterious photograph left under the bed, will lead to an unexpected outcome that will remind us that sometimes the greatest love stories are hidden in the smallest places.
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Araf (2012)
Yesim Ustaoglu
Turkey
124′
Pretty Zehra and handsome Olgun spend most of their young lives working in a service station cafeteria near a lonely highway. Their monotonous work shifts are broken up only by sparks of naive expectations of a brighter future. Everything seems transient about their surroundings. The once important industrial area is now a faceless place of economic waste and unemployment. Most of the area's occupants have all escaped to the big city in search of opportunity. But Zehra, Olgun and their friends still remain, caught somewhere in between the past and an uncertain future. Zehra dreams that love will take her away from her meaningless job and life at home with her strict old-fashioned mother. She becomes fascinated by an older truck driver, Mahur, who spends much of his time on the road. As Zehra's desire for Mahur turns into a tragic first love, her rebellious friend Olgun becomes more and more frustrated, stuck at home, not yet a young man on his own. Zehra and Olgun will experience a bittersweet rite of passage, leading to both suffering and awakening. But as they say goodbye to their childhood innocence, love and hope will help them to move forward.
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Wolf And Sheep (2016)
Shahrbanoo Sadat
Afghanistan
86′
In rural Afghanistan, people believe in the stories they invent to tell each other, explaining the mysteries of the world, they don’t understand. Shepherd children own the mountains. Even though there are no grown ups around, they know the rules very well; the main one is that boys and girls are not allowed to be together, they have to be separated. The boys practice with their slings to fight the wolves should they attack the flock. The girls smoke dried branches of wheat secretly and play wedding, dreaming of getting a husband soon. They gossip about every one and everything, but mostly about Sediqa, 11, an outsider among the shepherd children. They think she is cursed, as an evil ghost disguised as a snake bewitched her grandmother. Sediqa picks up her sheep and goats every morning and drops them in the owner’s house every evening. She dreams of having a sling and learn to swing it like the boys and hit a wolf. Qodrat, 11, becomes the gossip topic of everyone after his mother remarries with an old man with two wives. He prefers to be alone in the most isolated parts of the mountains. This is where he meets Sediqa and they become friends until Qodrat’s mother has to send him away.
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The Milk of Sorrow (2009)
Claudia Llosa
Peru
94′
When her mother dies, Fausta is forced to face her fears, that she got as ababy with the milk of her mother. Fausta now sets out on a journey - a journey that will lead her out of her fear and into freedom. Peruvian director Claudia Llosa’s film addresses a dark era of her country’s history. It won the Golden Bear in Berlin and was nominated for the Oscars in 2010.
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