There’s more than one feminism

DOK.REVUE: A reflection on women documentarians inspired by Barbora Baronová’s book Women on Women.

Women on Women
Author: Barbora Baronová
Publisher: Wo-men, Czech Republic

The representation of women in the film industry is an important topic for film scholars, producers, festival organisers, and even newly founded initiatives (Film Fatales, Free the Work, The Topple List). A revision of the canonised version of the history of film that is told from the viewpoint of men and primarily takes into account men’s contributions reveals that women were abundantly involved in film production from its very beginnings, as directors, producers, editors, and screenwriters – albeit with limited opportunities to articulate their subjective experience. Retrospectively, women working in feature films are for now the most duly appreciated. Nevertheless, the point of a project like Women Film Pioneers is not to elevate one gender at the expense of the other, but rather to show that women were just as capable, clever, and inventive as men. There is no reason then for a certain profession to be connected only with the male segment of the population and for that segment to serve as the model of what, for example, a director should look like.

In the process of uncovering the reality that the history of filmmaking is not merely the history of men, much less attention has been paid to non-fiction production – although even in the past women have found it much easier to find their place in this sector. This is perhaps due to the fact that production expenses for documentary films are generally lower and crews are smaller, and because, despite their greater social significance, documentaries are regarded . . .

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