Category Female Film Directors

Revisiting The Oeuvre of Bazaar-e-Husn

There aren’t many works of cinematic art that become cinematic in their own right. The legacy of these works transcends what is projected on the screen and venture into the arenas of popularity that was quite unintended by the creator itself. Pakeezah, a Hindi Cinema classic that took almost 15 years to complete, is one […]

The Dirty Business of Mt. Everest

If you ask the typical American the name of the first person to climb Mt. Everest, he will tell you that it was a British climber named Edmund Hillary in 1953. A well-informed American will add a footnote. In reality. Sir Edmund Hillary was the first European to reach the summit of the tallest mountain […]

Hannah Arendt (2012)

Adolf Eichmann was one of the worst war criminals in history. Between 1942, when Reinhardt Heydrich put him in charge of the “Final Solution,” to 1945, when the Soviet and Allied armies overran all of Germany, Eichmann was the chief administrator of the operation that killed between 5.5 and 6 million Jews. After escaping from […]

Rosa Luxemburg (1986)

Rosa Luxemburg was the anti-Hillary Clinton. Born in 1871, the year of the Paris Commune, to a Jewish family in Zamosc, Poland, she was one of the first women in Western Europe to earn a doctoral degree. Considering her brilliance as an economist, she could have probably become wealthy. Instead she chose to fight for […]

What Happened Miss Simone? (2015)

There is a controversy on social media. Zoe Saldana, a light skinned black woman, has been cast to play the singer songwriter Nina Simone, who was a very dark skinned black woman, in the upcoming biographical drama Nina. After having watched Liz Garbus’ brilliant documentary What Happened Miss Simone, I can fully understand why casting […]

La Folie Almayer (2011)

Even though the Anglo-Polish writer Conrad was 38 years old when he left the British merchant marine to devote himself to literature, his first novel Almayer’s Folly is a young man’s book. A bitterly ironic story about a Dutch businessman in Borneo who sends his biracial daughter to a Catholic boarding school in the the […]

News from Home (1976)

A year after she released Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, the 26-year-old Chantal Akerman returned to New York City, where she had lived for several years in her early 20s. Akerman, a French-speaking native of Brussels, and the daughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, spent the next several months with her cinematographer Babette […]

Mädchen in Uniform (1931)

Mädchen in Uniform, a surviving document of Weimar Germany’s gay rights movement, is a film made almost entirely by women. Based on a play by the German-Hungarian writer Christa Winsloe, it was directed by Leontine Sagan, and stars an all female cast. Almost banned and heavily censored in the United States until the 1970s, Mädchen […]

Goodbye Chantal Akerman (1950-2015)

Chantal Akerman, one of the most aesthetically fascinating and innovative filmmakers who ever lived, was reported dead today. This is a huge loss for the world cinematic community. Other websites and newspapers have already published numerous articles on Akerman’s life, broad overviews of her work, appreciations. I presume they will continue to do so throughout […]

Olympia (1938)

(This review originally ran in the textbook Documentary Film: Contexts and Criticism, ed. Carl Rollyson.) Leni Riefenstahl was in many ways the perfect filmmaker to represent the Nazi regime; her work signifies both the astonishing grandeur and formal perfection of their outward displays, and the heartless technocratic beliefs that lay underneath these sleek surfaces. This […]