Movies can provide the best escape, and tbh, we could all use a little respite from reality right now.
If the fast approaching inauguration of America’s 45th president is already giving you cramps, we feel ya and we’re here to help. Rather than tuning in tomorrow and boosting Trump’s viewership, check out any of the following movies for empowering stories from some of the communities concerned about a Trump presidency. Together, we can make January 20 great again.
Thelma and Louise (1991)
Press pause on the fact that America is about to put a man accused of sexually assaulting at least a dozen women into the White House with a film that shows what happens when someone tries to #grabthembythepussy—and the pussy-owner grabs back. This wild road trip, with more than a few unexpected detours, follows Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) as they ditch their partners and hit the road in a ’66 Thunderbird—fighting the patriarchy along the way. Bonus: this film basically owns the Bechdel Test.
Kill Bill (2003)
Uma Thurman as a scorned bride out for revenge is basically the definition of a #NastyWoman in this Quentin Tarantino classic. Rather than screaming at the television while Trump gets sworn in, release that rage by watching these boss babes bring the pain.
My Left Foot (1989)
This Oscar-nominated film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Christy Brown, a young man born with cerebral palsy to a low-income Irish family—and is the perfect cleanse for anyone still reeling from Trump’s hideous imitation of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski (Meryl, we hope you’re reading this!). The unbelievable true story explores the struggles and ultimately the strength of famed author Christy Brown—who learned to write with his left foot—as he defies all expectations and proves that his disability does not define him.
Shout out also goes to ABC’s family comedy Speechless, which has been embraced by the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and stars Micah Fowler, a young man with cerebral palsy IRL.
On the heels of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and in preparation for the Women’s March, watch the award winning film that documents MLK’s fight for black Americans’ right to vote and one of the most important marches in American history (which President Obama famously reenacted in 2015).
This movie sends a powerful message hidden in cute, cuddly characters. By using animals instead of people, Zootopia is able to tackle the nuances of stereotypes and racial profiling—like, oh say, a government registry of everyone who subscribes to a particular religion—without having to deal with our preconceived notions. It’s made for kids, but it’s a must for all ages. Bonus: this gem is currently on Netflix.
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
This Oscar-winning film may be called Boys Don’t Cry, but no judgment if this emotional rollercoaster leaves you sobbing. Hilary Swank plays Brandon Teena, born Teena Brandon, in a story that gives just a taste of what it’s really like to be transgender in small-town Nebraska. While Trump has said that he plans to allow each state to decide their stance on transgender bathroom usage and will potentially overturn Obama’s 2014 executive order that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity, this film will hopefully serve as a reminder that no matter who you are, love trumps hate.
The Women’s List (2015)
If you’re gearing up for the Women’s March on January 21, this is your go-to Friday night film. This documentary, originally created for PBS and now available on Netflix, highlights 15 American woman who have shaped our modern day lives. Boss babes include Shonda Rhimes, Alicia Keys, Betsey Johnson, Nancy Pelosi, Margaret Cho and many more.
The Visitor (2007)
Immigration was a hot topic throughout the election (#BadHombre) with Trump promising to build walls rather than welcome newcomers into the American fabric. The Visitor takes a hard look at the U.S. immigration detention system and is so artfully told that it’s even used as a discussion tool by the U.S. arm of Amnesty International.
If These Walls Could Talk (1996)
This movie’s all-star cast of Demi Moore, Sissy Spacek, and Cher (!!!), is enough to warrant a watch, but with the potential threat to Roe v. Wade, it is more timely than ever. The movie depicts access to abortion, and the cultural stigma associated with the procedure, at three different periods in history: 1950, 1970, and 1990. The trailer says it all: “The times keep changing, the emotions remain the same.”