A still image from Goldie.

Women Out Front: SBS On Demand Nails It With the Ultimate Showcase of Female-Forward Flicks

This article is sponsored by SBS On Demand.

Calling all the ladies! This summer, all eyes are on us. 

SBS On Demand’s Summer of Movies hub is a stash of movie magic that will leave you in awe and inspired to conquer the world. Starring fierce female leads, these flicks are like a bottle of wit—sharp, memorable, and leaving you thirsty for more. They showcase women who take charge, shake things up, and give the rulebook a spanking makeover.

Whether it’s the Oscar-nominated Parallel Mothers or the eccentric Goldie, SBS On Demand’s Summer of Movies are more than just a popcorn-munching experience, and you’d be committing a cinematic crime if you let them slip through your fingers. To make your must-watch list one to be envied, check out the SBS On Demand’s Summer of Movies hub. So, buckle up because this summer, SBS On Demand has your front-row seat to the action, and these eight movies below are but a sampling of the offerings. 

On the Basis of Sex 

On the Basis of Sex fearlessly takes a red pen to the tired old rulebook of biographical dramas and scribbles in some bold new chapters. At its core, the film is a riveting exploration of the life and career of the indomitable Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, portrayed with compelling charisma by Felicity Jones. On the Basis of Sex goes beyond simply recounting Ginsburg’s legal victories. 

The film meticulously delves into her personal and professional battles in a male-dominated society, elevating it into a league of its own. Jones embodies Ginsburg’s unwavering determination and intellect with a magnetic charm that’s nothing short of mesmerising.

20th Century Women 

Directed by Mike Mills, 20th Century Women is like a time capsule filled with quirks, charisma, and nostalgia, set against the backdrop of late 1970s Southern California. The film boasts an ensemble cast that’s nothing short of a delight. Annette Bening leads the pack as Dorothea Fields, a single mother determined to understand her teenage son in an ever-evolving world. 

Greta Gerwig (Director, Barbie) and Elle Fanning round out the cast with their magnetic performances, each embodying the spirit of the era in their unique ways. 20th Century Women is more than just a coming-of-age story; it’s a love letter to the complexities of human relationships and the ever-shifting sands of generational dynamics.

The Drover’s Wife 

The Drover’s Wife is a cinematic journey that’ll make you want to pack your bags and head into the heart of the Australian outback. Directed by Leah Purcell, who also stars in the film, this modern reimagining of the classic Australian tale is a captivating blend of history and contemporary storytelling. Purcell’s portrayal of the titular character, a resourceful woman left to fend for herself and her children in the harsh wilderness, is nothing short of mesmerising. 

A still image from The Drover's Wife.
(Image courtesy of SBS.)

She transforms the traditionally silent and stoic drover’s wife into a formidable force of nature, giving her a voice as sharp as a kangaroo’s tooth. The film highlights the harsh realities of life in the Australian outback, addressing issues of race, gender, and survival with a skillful touch that’s both poignant and profound. The Drover’s Wife is available from 27 January 2024.


Sparkling with raw authenticity and a touch of gritty glamour, Goldie takes us on a wild ride through the streets of New York City with Goldie, a young and determined dreamer played brilliantly by Slick Woods. Goldie’s ambition to become a dancer and her journey is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. 

Directed by Sam de Jong, the film brilliantly captures the frenetic energy of the city that never sleeps, juxtaposing it with Goldie’s unwavering determination to find her place in the spotlight. With a wardrobe that could rival a rainbow explosion and a fierce attitude to match, Goldie is a character you can’t help but root for, even when she’s making questionable life choices. 

Parallel Mothers 

Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers weaves together motherhood, secrets, and a splash of his signature flamboyance. Penélope Cruz dazzles as Janis, a photographer with a baby on the way and a skeleton or two hiding in her closet. The film unfurls with all the drama and flair we’ve come to expect from Almodóvar as Janis’s path intersects with Ana, played by Milena Smit, a young mother-to-be with her own mysterious past. 

A still image from Parallel Mothers.
(Image courtesy of SBS.)

As the title suggests, Parallel Mothers explores these two women’s parallel lives and experiences, bound together by the common thread of impending motherhood. With its lush visuals, intricate storytelling, and the ever-present undercurrent of maternal love, Parallel Mothers is a cinematic symphony that will leave you both emotionally moved and intrigued. 


Janicza Bravo takes the audience through the underbelly of social media and human folly. Zola, based on an X (formerly Twitter) thread that went viral, introduces us to the eponymous Zola, played with a blend of innocence and cunning by Taylour Paige. Zola’s journey begins innocently enough with a simple invitation for a weekend getaway to Florida but quickly descends into a lurid and bizarre odyssey that defies belief. 

A still image from Zola.
(Image courtesy of SBS.)

With a sharp script and impeccable pacing, Zola is a biting satire of our obsession with sharing every sordid detail of our lives online and a gripping thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Bravo’s direction infuses the film with a surreal and almost dreamlike quality, making you question whether what you’re witnessing is real or just another facet of the digital age’s bizarre theatre.


A Julia Ducournau film, Titane is a cinematic shockwave that defies categorization, leaving its audience awestruck and slightly bewildered. The film introduces us to Alexia, played by Agathe Rousselle, a woman with a peculiar penchant for automobiles that’s as twisted as it is titillating. As Alexia embarks on a bizarre and gruesome journey, the film hurtles into the surreal and macabre, blurring the lines between body horror, psychological thriller, and dark comedy. 

A still image from Titane.
(Image courtesy of SBS.)

Ducournau’s direction is nothing short of fearless, pushing the boundaries of cinema and societal norms in exhilarating and disturbing ways. Titane is an unapologetic exploration of identity, desire, and the monstrous aspects of humanity, wrapped in a skin of gleeful subversion. With its shocking imagery and visceral storytelling, Titane is not for the faint of heart but for those willing to plunge into the darkness and revel in the absurdity of human existence. 

Black Narcissus 

Black Narcissus, directed by the legendary Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is a cinematic masterpiece as entrancing as the Himalayan mountains it portrays. Starring the luminous Deborah Kerr as Sister Clodagh, the film tells the tale of a group of nuns who embark on a mission to establish a convent in a remote palace high in the mountains of India. But as the nuns grapple with isolation, desire, and the haunting atmosphere of the palace, their faith is tested in ways they never could have imagined. Kerr’s portrayal of Sister Clodagh exemplifies restrained passion and inner turmoil, while Kathleen Byron’s performance as the unhinged Sister Ruth is a study in creeping madness.

A film still from Black Narcissus.
(Image courtesy of SBS.)

So, as you can see, SBS On Demand’s Summer of Movies hub is ready to inject your streaming queue with fierce feminism and fabulous storytelling. Plus, new titles will keep dropping all summer long, and can be streamed for free. SBS On Demand has spoken—grab your popcorn, visit SBS On Demand’s Summer of Movies hub, hit play, and let the leading ladies show you how it’s done.

(featured image: Courtesy of SBS)

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