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Women film directors: An international bio-critical dictionary

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


My dissertation looks at the lives and works of numerous women filmmakers who have been neglected in cinema history, offering a complete survey of their films, a brief biography of their life and career history, as well as a critical analysis of the films under consideration. Among the directors included are Alice Guy Blache, perhaps the first director to make a narrative film (in 1896, titled La Fee Aux Choux); Chantal Akerman, one of the foremost directors of the French feminist Postfilm generation; Julie Dash, an African-American filmmaker whose Daughters of the Dust has attracted major critical attention; as well as Christine Choy, Joyce Chopra, Safi Faye from Senegal, Marta Meszaros of Hungary, and Trinh T. Minh-ha of Vietnam. In many cases, these directors have been marginalized in conventional cinema history. This dissertation, therefore, discusses the life and works of many important women filmmakers who have been dropped from canonical cinema discourse. International in scope, the dissertation explores the ways in which these films by women directors offer an entirely different vision from that of conventional patriarchal filmic discourse, and demonstrate that since the beginning of film, there has been a feminist filmic tradition. This dissertation is being written under contract to Greenwood Press, and will be published in late 1995; most practically, it is designed as a key reference text in women's film studies courses.

Subject Area

Motion Pictures|Womens studies|Biographies

Recommended Citation

Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey, "Women film directors: An international bio-critical dictionary" (1995). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9528820.