Call the Midwife
With it’s fifth season recently out on Netflix, this show teaches you the value of faith, kindness, love, and friendship. The story revolves around a few nuns and midwives living in East End London and helping give birth to the baby boomers that were born during post-World War II.
The show is based off of a memoir, by Jennifer Worth, who recounts her interactions with the members of her neighborhood while working as a midwife in a convent in the mid-40s.
There are the lessons and experiences of childbirth while simultaneously giving a piece of history that depicts the effects of the baby boomers, the evolution of modern health, post-war immigration, and the threat of nuclear warfare.
The fifth season is set to push the bar a little bit further as the show is set in the early 60s. People are expected to see the introduction of the pill, the change of fashion, the scandal with the drug “Thalidomide”, and the public view of homophobia. It’s set to be a pretty interesting season.
Although this show was cancelled by the CW, Netflix brought it back with a final season to finish off the story. The series centers around a woman named Nikita Mears, who was trained as an assassin by a secret U.S. government funded facility called Division.
After three years of hiding from Division, she sets out on a goal to bring down Division and saving others from becoming another puppet for the organization.
Although the show holds a theme of the same government conspiracy that are being played now, what makes this show different is it’s take on the bad guys. Most shows explain the good guys and needing to take down the bad guys no matter what. Yet, Nikita shows how easily it is to be manipulated, consumed with greed, and feel that one is doing the right thing when it may not seem like by others.
The Flowers of War
A tad bit vulgar, this film should be watched away from children. However, it’s a great foreign film that depicts the history of Japan invading China, beginning the second Sino-Japanese War. A time of brutality and shamelessness, the film centers on the Nanking Massacre.
In late 1937 and over a period of six weeks, the Japanese Imperial Army killed hundreds of thousands of people as well as raping 60,000-80,000 women. During this time, there were a few western businessmen and missionaries who tried to create a neutral zone to help keep all remaining citizens safe.
Christian Bale acts as one of these western missionaries and soon discovers himself hiding in a convent with 12 school girls, followed by 12 prostitutes later on, and a male orphan.
Each character is important throughout the film and the audience can see the change among the characters as they stay longer in the convent with the ruthless army on the outside.
The story ends pretty morbid, but one will have to watch to see what happens to the women and girls in the film.
This starts off slow paced, but you’ll quickly understand why. The build of momentum, confusion, and intrigue will quickly make you want to know what happens in the end.
Brionny, the main character of the film, is born pre-World War II and has always wanted to be a writer. Ever since the age of 13, she would write plays and then act them out to her friends and family. However, while her ambition begins to develop, so does her puberty mindset.
Brionny has a beautiful older sister who earns the heart of her crush. In the act of jealousy, she unravels a story that changes the course of life for everyone while trying to simultaneously survive the War and the betrayal she conducted on her sister.
Yet, what makes this different than all the other lost loved stories is how it ends. There is a huge twist that’ll make you realize that you can’t always believe what someone tells you and not every story has a happy ending. If you’re going to watch a film on a slow Saturday afternoon, this is the one to do it.
It’ll make you think. I guarantee it.
This French film, originally title Les Femmes de l’ombres, is set during World War II and stars Sophie Marceau as a female resistant fighter and part of the SOE (Special Operations Executive), a secret organization set out to win the war against the Germans. The film was inspired by a real SOE female agent, Lise Marie Jeanette de Baissac, who died in March 2004 and was one of the few heroines awarded for their sacrifices.
The film starts off with Louise Desfontaines, played by Sophie Marceau, as a member of the French Resistance fleeing to Spain after her husband is killed and then later on being captured and expatriated to London. Later on, she is recruited by the SOE for a rescue mission on a British agent who was captured by the Germans. In order for this to happen, Louise is ordered to create a commando group of women with a variety of backgrounds to make this mission a success.
Although their mission had a few complications, nothing could prepare the women for the next mission the SOE orders them to do. Basically a suicide mission, they are ordered to eliminate Colonel Heindrich, a key figure of Nazi counter-espionage and an enemy who knows too much of the planned landings for the invasion of Normandy.
If you haven’t noticed a pattern by now then you must not have been paying attention. These Netflix lineups not only lead strong women, but also let you step into a time and place where showing a face of bravery was critical for survival. Do these films have happy endings? Yes…some of them do. It’s up to you to see which one does.