Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology

Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology

26 Episodes

In the earliest days of the movies, women were responsible for some of the young medium’s most thrilling innovations. Unfortunately, many of these pioneering artists have been written out of film history, their contributions to the foundations of cinema long undervalued. International in scope, this eye-opening collection brings together a treasure trove of films made between 1902 and 1943 by directors like Alice Guy Blaché, Lois Weber, Germaine Dulac, Lotte Reiniger, Mary Ellen Bute, and Maya Deren. The films these women made were technically and stylistically inventive, pushing the boundaries of narrative, aesthetics, and genre and fundamentally shaping an art form in its infancy.

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Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology
  • Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina, May 1940

    Episode 1

    Directed by Zora Neale Hurston • 1940 • United States

    This footage, shot by author Zora Neale Hurston in the Sea Island community of Beaufort, South Carolina, observes the religious practices of the Gullah people. The footage is accompanied here by field audio recordings by Norman Chalfin, who ...

  • Meshes of the Afternoon

    Episode 2

    Directed by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid • 1943 • United States
    Starring Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid

    Cinematic trance-maker Maya Deren and her husband Alexander Hammid launched an underground revolution with this avant-garde landmark—shot in their Hollywood home, but a world away from the co...