Sisterhood Theme Week

Sisterhood Week: The Roundup

Check out all of the posts from our Sisterhood Theme Week here.

‘Sense and Sensibility’: Sister Saviors in Ang Lee’s Adaptation

Sense and Sensibility

On first glance, it may well appear that the film follows the usual trappings of the romance genre, in which the young women eventually marry the men that they love, who fortuitously possess more than ample funds to elevate them and their families from poverty, thereby “saving” them. …If we delve a little deeper into Lee’s adaptation it becomes clear that the sisters are not saved by the men they marry, but rather by each other, and multiple times throughout the story.

Sisterhood and Salvation in ‘A League of Their Own’

A League of Their Own

Though the simmering sibling rivalry between Kit and Dottie is a thread that runs through the entire film, the importance of sisterhood goes far beyond this. For both women, sisterhood becomes a ticket to another world: a ticket out, but also a ticket in; to friendship, to competition, and to independence. As such, sisterhood exists as a source of empowerment.

Sisters in ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and the Slow March Toward Equality

Downton Abbey and Fiddler on the Roof

The narratives surrounding the television series ‘Downton Abbey’ and the musical film ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ are about change and more specifically, how the daughters within both families represent the small, but important contributions that these characters make to modern feminist narratives. … In both ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ each trio of sisters takes a step in determining her own fate.

Sisterhood with a Capital “S”: ‘The Triplets of Belleville’

The Triplets of Belleville

Sisterhood is powerful, magical, and resilient: that’s the sororal message in the celebrated 2003 animated film… Character distinction between the sisters as individuals is not a major focus for writer/director Sylvain Chomet, although each Triplet has different functions/feelings at specific times. The bond of the sisters as a more monolithic force is depicted instead: Chomet presents the unity of sisterhood. … The agency of older women, including the eponymous trio, is vital to ‘The Triplets of Belleville.’

The Sister as Revenant in Brian De Palma’s ‘Sisters’

'Sisters' Brian De Palma

‘Sisters’ displays an early concern with women’s liberation in mainstream American film (De Palma’s collaborator on the screenplay was Louisa Rose). Many of the film’s social complaints remain liberal talking points today: that police can be motivated by racism, that the legal institution can subject women to excessive scrutiny, and that the medical-psychiatric institution remains patriarchal and sexist in its diagnosing and treatment of women. Yet the film’s intersections with disability are more complicated.

‘The Virgin Suicides’: Striking Similarities Between the Lisbon and Romanov Sisters

'The Virgin Suicides' | Lisbon and Romanov Sisters

Two sets of sisters, different in circumstance but alike in experience: the four Romanov Grand Duchesses of Russia and the four Lisbon sisters from 1970s Michigan in ‘The Virgin Suicides.’ … Clear links between the two sets can be drawn, but ultimately reveal that in both situations, living in a gilded cage only leaves behind a haunting memory.

My Sister’s Keeper: When Sisterhood Sours in Horror Films

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane 2

But there’s also a darker side to sisterhood, where rivalries take violent turns and where bonds are almost too strong, superseding everything else including reality. When sisters are pushed to the extremes, when women don’t meet society’s expectations, what does this tell us about the constraints on women to conform to idealized versions of femininity and sisterhood? Are bad sisters just failures or are they simply women with complicated narratives that a patriarchal society doesn’t allow room for?

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and Assertive Sisters

Grey's Anatomy

Meredith doesn’t feel obligated to form relationships with Maggie and Amelia due to her sibling connections with them. She doesn’t deem it necessary to acquaint herself with Maggie simply because they share a mother, nor does she try to force a friendly relationship between herself and Amelia simply because she’s the sister of the man she loves. This means then, that when these close relationships are formed, they are all the more powerful. They are formed through choice, not responsibility.

‘Little Women’: Learning to Love All of the March Sisters

Little Women

However, the clearest, most poignant development that comes through growing with the films is how ultimately, the love story between Jo and Bhaer and the unrequited love story between Jo and Teddy mean little juxtaposed to the love shared between the four sisters. They are one another’s hearts and souls, evident as Jo writes her novel at the end of the film.

Second Mom Syndrome: Sisterhood in ‘My Neighbor Totoro’

My Neighbor Totoro

The film shows how Satsuki struggles with this dual role of acting as the most present parent while still being only a child herself. … While Satsuki fulfills the role of mom to Mei, it’s her status as sister and child that ends up saving the day. … ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ is one of Miyazaki’s best odes to sisterhood, portraying both the struggles but also the benefits of having a sibling at your side.

‘A League of their Own’: The Joy and Complexity of Sisterhood on a Baseball Field

A League of Their Own

The bond between the sisters is at the heart of the wartime baseball movie, directed by Penny Marshall… Their competitive nature is a motivation to be the best… It’s obvious that Dottie always seems to have one up on Kit, which sets up the relentless struggle of the spirited Kit who wants, finally, to be better than Dottie. … Kit and Dottie are the embodiment not just of sisterhood, but of the true nature of a teammate relationship.