This is a potentially huge area that you're attempting to cover, depending on how wide-ranging you actually want to go in history or geography ("throwing in" the Middle East  raises a whole new set  of complications).
If you want to include more "classic" films, some might include Satyajit Ray's films (such as DEVI, TWO DAUGHTERS, or CHARULATA) or Kenji Mizoguchi (OSAKA ELEGY, SISTERS  OF GION, STREET OF SHAME, among others), for starters.  Mheboob Khan's  MOTHER INDIA is an epic that just recently became available on DVD in the US.
Several films from the Japanese "New Wave" can be interesting and more or less challenging (Imamura's INSECT WOMAN--sort of a Japanese Mother Courage; Oshima's VIOLENCE AT NOON--not an easy film, in several ways; and Shinoda's DOUBLE SUICIDE--the same actress plays both wife and mistress, and the film is based on a famous bunraku play by Chikamatsu).  Much more recently, FIREFLY DREAMS is directed by a Westerner (John Williams, from Wales) but it is unjustly overlooked.
Anime is a whole world unto itself, but Miyazaki's films are very enjoyable and most feature strong and complex girl and women characters.  NAUSICAA wouldn't be a bad starting place there.  Hong Kong film is also a world unto itself, but a pre-CROUCHING TIGER film with Michelle Yeoh or Maggie Cheung (or both) would be worth a look and enjoyable too.  WING CHUN is a relatively recent one.  Hark Tsui's GREEN SNAKE could be very interesting.
From India more recently, Shekhar Kapur's THE BANDIT QUEEN was a very controversial film on its release. So was Apurna Sen's SATI.  Deep Mehta's FIRE and EARTH have also aroused controversy with their subject matter.  There are many official and fan-based websites devoted to Bollywood films also.
If you really want to move into the Middle East, Iran would be a good starting place, with films such as Makhmalbaf's KHANDHAR.  Siddiq Barmak's OSAMA, about a girl living under the Taliban, was the first  film to be made in Afghanistan since the Taliban were ousted.
This is just a beginning and hasn't even tried to address films specifically made by women directors.
Don Larsson
"Oh!  Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!"
                                         --Herman Melville
Donald F. Larsson
Department of English, AH 230
Minnesota State University
Mankato, MN  56001
[log in to unmask] 
Office Phone: 507-389-2368


From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List on behalf of Lou Thompson
Sent: Sat 2/4/2006 2:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SCREEN-L] women in Asian film

Thanks Gary, for being the ONE person to offer suggestions. 

I've thought of a few other films during the week, like Tampopo and Eat Drink Man Woman. 

Japan, India and China are easy, but I'll be looking for films from, say, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. 
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gary Harmon
  To: [log in to unmask]
  Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 12:14 PM
  Subject: Re: [SCREEN-L] women in Asian film

  For Lou Ann Thompson:

  The films of Zhang Yimou are all very good representations of women in parts
  of Chinese
  culture. In particular, consider Raise the Red Lantern, The Road Home, or Not
  One Less,
  for examples.   You could do worse than to use several of his films in your
  first course.
  The films are very "teachable," in my experience with them.

  Gary Harmon
  University of North Florida
  Jacksonville, Florida

  In a message dated 2/2/06 10:10:08 PM, [log in to unmask] writes:

  > I'm looking at developing a course (undergrad) on women in Asian film (and
  > I might throw in Middle Eastern as well). This would be a completely new
  > area to me, so I'd appreciate any suggestions for films and books. I would
  > definitely include Born in Brothels and a good Bollywood movie, probably Monsoon
  > Wedding, and maybe a more traditional Bollywood as a baseline.
  > ______________________________________________
  > Dr. Lou Ann Thompson
  > Professor of English
  > Department of English, Speech, and Foreign Languages
  > Texas Woman's University
  > Denton, TX 76204

  To sign off Screen-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF Screen-L
  in the message.  Problems?  Contact [log in to unmask]

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama:

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite