4 Documentaries that Celebrate Inspiring Heroines
Photo: Sundace Selects/Everett Collection
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (2013)
Bravura abounds in this portrait of one of Broadway's brassiest stars. The film follows the late, famously pantsless cabaret singer as she dishes dirt on her early days in the biz, pads around her room at the Carlyle Hotel, and tirelessly rehearses for a one-woman show, illustrating the truism that there is nothing like a dame.
Photo: IFC Films/Everett Collection
Finding Vivian Maier (2013)
Like a Nancy Drew mystery in film form, this Oscar-nominated doc unfurls the tale of an enigmatic nanny who took striking portraits of city dwellers beginning in the 1950s. After Maier's death, more than 100,000 negatives of her work were discovered—sending one of the filmmakers on a life-altering journey and setting the art world aflame.
Photo: Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
Legendary documentarian Albert Maysles peeks into the life of nonagenarian fashion icon Iris Apfel, who's lent her decorative talents to the White House and her jaw-dropping collection of vintage finds to the Met's Costume Institute. The only thing bigger than the sartorialist's jewelry and spectacles? Her lust for life.
Photo: Courtesy of Everett Collection
What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)
This haunting film explores the life of firebrand activist and musician Nina Simone, who left behind her name (Eunice Waymon) and hometown (Tryon, North Carolina) to become an international jazz phenomenon and civil rights crusader with a raw voice—and a willingness to raise hell.