3 movies to watch for International Women’s Day

In the mood for a movie this Women's Day? Let BASKL recommend a few of our favourites.


International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements and perspectives of women, and Malaysia has no shortage of movies centring on women. This year, BASKL recommends 3 movies, all available to watch on Netflix.

Tiger Stripes

Tiger Stripes, directed by Amanda Nell Eu, took the world by storm the past year. Tiger Stripes took home the Grand Prize at 2023’s edition of the Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival. This coming-of-age horror movie is an original and subversive exploration of female puberty and the changes that come with it. As 12-year-old Zaffan (played by Zafreen Zairizai) starts menstruating, she also experiences other unusual changes in her body. With that comes bullying from her former friends at school, and when it all becomes too much to bear, the inner tiger within Zaffan lashes out. The story of the weretiger, or harimau jadian, is a common folk myth known to many Malaysians, and Eu uses it to tell a story of individuality, shame, and change.

La Luna

The comedy movie La Luna also came out in 2023, and just like Tiger Stripes, received much acclaim. It was directed by Singaporean director M Raihan Halim in a joint Malaysian-Singaporean production. If you did not have a chance to catch this one in cinemas last year, it tells a story set in the fictional Bras Basah, a quiet and conservative village. Hanie, played by Sharifah Amanie, is a modern and outgoing woman who has just moved back to the village and opens a shop selling lingerie, meeting with a lot of pushback from village elder Tok Hassan (Wan Hanafi Su). The movie excels at addressing themes such as religion and female autonomy while using comedy in a genuinely funny way.

Sa Balik Baju

This anthology movie is a collection of 6 short stories featuring women and directed by women directors, exploring the problems faced by women in the modern day. Exploring themes of pressure and woes induced by social media, work, body insecurities and online relationships, this movie offers a look into the lives of the women of Malaysia. Even for non-female viewers, the issues portrayed in this anthology will likely be relatable to anyone living in this age where gender roles are called into question and the impact of technology on our lives is still very much in question.

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