Female film directors re-shaping history

A book by Flinders Associate Professor Julia Erhart explores female film directors’ innovations in historical films and how they are re-defining audiences’ perceptions of history.

An established set of unspoken rules determines how gender should be expressed in movies that depict landmark historical events. Often condemned by critics for being overly emotional, films by female directors that feature female protagonists have often been popular with audiences, yet judged not to express ‘real’ history.

Audiences learn much about the past from movies and women are increasingly bringing new representations to the screen – effectively changing perceptions of history, with concepts like valour, memory and resistance being re-envisioned.

Gendering History on Screen: Women Filmmakers and Historical Films is the first book to focus entirely on the analysis of female film directors’ innovations in historical films.

Launched at the ‘Women’s Film and Television History Network UK/Ireland’ (United Kingdom, 23 – 25 May 2018), Associate Professor Erhart’s book demonstrates how directors influence audiences’ sense of the past and how women are providing new narratives and shaping a critique of policies and institutions on contemporary feminism.

The book is yet to launch in Australia but is available online.

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