Constellations: Past Meets Present in Feminist Film History
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.
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