Here are some interesting movies, shows, videos, podcasts, and books that address issues of gender-based violence. This list is not comprehensive, but it is a great starting point.
Please note that the content below may portray scenes of abuse. Our list of support services in Canada may be of help to you.
A Better Man
Attiya Khan and Lawrence Jackman
In this documentary, Khan meets with the man who abused her to see if he can take responsibility to heal and repair the harms he created. A review in Maclean’s said that their conversation “… manages to be simultaneously agonizing and hopeful … it is revelatory to know these kinds of [restorative] conversations are possible.”
The “Victim” Onscreen and How She’s Been Misrepresented
“Victim narratives in our culture have reinforced the idea that once you become a victim, that’s all you’ll ever be. Yet on the other end of the spectrum, the ‘Superheroic Survivor’ story can be equally one-dimensional, simplistic and uninterested in a real person’s experience.”
I May Destroy You
Sam Miller, Michaela Coel
Called one of the best shows of 2019 for its portrayal of sexual assault and trauma. The show stars Coel — who also wrote and directed the series — as Arabella, a young woman who seeks to rebuild her life after being raped.
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn
Explores the complex themes of racialization, gender, and colonization through the bonds that two women form with one another. In a chance encounter, Áila finds Rosie, heavily pregnant and barefoot in the street, and takes her home in order to escape Rosie’s violent boyfriend who assaulted her. As the two women unpack the traumatic event that Rosie survived, their relationship becomes one of deep connection and safety in a world that has harmed them.
John Wells, Helen Shaver, Nzingha Stewart, Lila Neugebauer, Quyen Tran
After fleeing an abusive relationship, a young mother finds a job cleaning houses as she fights to provide for her child and build them a better future.
Lisa Cholodenko, Michael Dinner, Susannah Grant
An 18-year-old woman reports sexual assault and is charged with making a false claim, while a serial rapist continues to commit crimes. It’s based on an award-winning investigative journalism report by Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong.
The Break tells a beautiful and nuanced story of loss and love at the intersections of colonial and gender-based violence.
Resilience Is Futile: The Life and Death and Life of Julie S. Lalonde
In this harrowing memoir of fleeing intimate partner violence while simultaneously working as an advocate for women’s rights, Julie Lalonde challenges the way we understand trauma and resistance.
See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse
“Investigative journalist Jess Hill puts perpetrators – and the systems that enable them – in the spotlight. See What You Made Me Do is a deep dive into the abuse so many women and children experience – abuse that is often reinforced by the justice system they trust to protect them. Critically, it shows that we can drastically reduce domestic violence – not in generations to come, but today.”
I’m Afraid of Men
“I’m Afraid of Men, the best-selling book from Vivek Shraya, explores how masculinity was imposed on her as a boy and continues to haunt her as a girl—and how we might reimagine gender for the twenty-first century.”
Not that Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
Edited by Roxane Gay
“This collection of pieces by a variety of contemporary writers that explore the many ways that gender-based violence. “Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that ‘not that bad’ must no longer be good enough.”
They Said This Would be Fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up
In her memoir, author and journalist Eternity Martis deals with themes of racism, intimate partner violence, and healing.
Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo
“Where is Cleo? It’s a mystery her family has been trying to unravel for decades after the young Cree girl was apprehended by child welfare workers in Saskatchewan in the 1970’s … CBC News investigative reporter Connie Walker joins in their search, uncovering disturbing new details about how and why Cleo was taken, where she wound up, and how she died.”
Alright, Now What? Podcast
The Canadian Women’s Foundation
Over the next few episodes, we’ll be featuring stories and information about what it means to respond to signs and signals of abuse. Listen, subscribe, rate, and review wherever you get your podcast content.