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Doing Women's Film HistoryReframing Cinemas, Past and Future$
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Julia Knight and Christine Gledhill

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039683

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039683.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021



Constellations: Past Meets Present in Feminist Film History

(p.13) Prologue
Doing Women's Film History

Monica Dall’asta

Jane M. Gaines

University of Illinois Press

This prologue examines overarching issues about women's film history, feminism, and the researching and writing of film history. Foregrounding historiographic problems, it explores the researching and writing about women “in” and “as” “history” in the cinema century by focusing on the critical-historical approach, which deals with the problem of “the history of history” —the approach used to expose the never-neutral amnesias of traditional historiography and to counter its claim to objectivity with the inevitability of its “fictions.” The chapter discusses the concept of becoming historical others and highlights the impossibility of history's history by drawing on the case of Elvira Giallanella, an Italian director and producer never mentioned in previous accounts of Italian silent cinema but who suddenly made her way into feminist historiography after a 35mm print of her 1919 antiwar film Umanità was discovered in 2007.

Keywords:   women's film history, feminism, film history, critical-historical approach, historical others, Elvira Giallanella, silent cinema, feminist historiography, Umanità

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