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Gendering History on Screen: Women Filmmakers and Historical Films

Gendering History on Screen: Women Filmmakers and Historical Films
Julia Erhart

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Movies about significant historical personalities or landmark events like war seem to be governed by a set of unspoken rules for the expression of gender. Films by female directors featuring female protagonists appear to receive particularly harsh treatment and are often criticised for being too 'emotional' and incapable of expressing 'real' history. Through her examination of films from the United States, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, Julia Erhart makes powerful connections between the representational strategies of women directors such as Kathryn Bigelow, Ruth Ozeki and Alexandra von Grote and their concerns with exploring the past through the prism of the present. She also compellingly explores how historiographical concepts like valour, memory, and resistance are uniquely re-envisioned within sub-genres including biopics, historical documentaries, Holocaust movies, and movies about the 'War on Terror'. Gendering History on Screen will make an invaluable contribution to scholarship on historical film and women's cinema.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Historical films: definitions, significance, and feminist interventions

Chapter Two: Serial Killers, hysterics, and other 'undeserving' subjects: Women in contemporary commercial biopics

Chapter Three : Migration, internment, diaspora, war: First-person feminist documentary

Chapter Four : Revisiting Resistance and Occupation in Holocaust Films

Chapter Five : Women and the 'War on Terror'


Author Info

Julia Erhart is Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Creative Arts at Flinders University. She researches in the areas of contemporary women filmmakers and feminist and LGBT representations in film and television and is the recipient of a grant from the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2016), a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning from the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching (2014), and a fellowship from Fulbright (2000).


`Drawing on insightful readings of a diverse array of films including Monster, Nadar, La rafle/The Round Up and Zero Dark Thirty, Erhart has crafted an eminently readable study of how female directors reshape historical film to make room for women's perspectives'
Julianne Pidduck, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, the University of Montreal and author of Contemporary Costume Film

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Library of Gender and Popular Culture

ISBN: 9781784535285
Publication Date: 29 May 2018
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138

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