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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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Reading between the Lines

Reading between the Lines

History and the Studio Owner’s Wife

(p.42) Chapter 2 Reading between the Lines
Doing Women's Film History

Michele Leigh

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the caprices and idiosyncrasies of conducting research in the era of silent cinema by drawing on the case of early Russian film industry, and particularly the A. Khanzhonkov and Company film studio. To this end, the chapter looks at women working not only as actresses but also as screenwriters, directors, and editors in the early years of Russian cinema. One such woman was Antonina Nikolaevna Khanzhonkova, the first wife of studio owner Alexander Khanzhonkov. Sifting through a variety of historical texts and sources, the chapter attempts to flesh out the details of Khanzhonkova. What it discovered is a scarcity of information about Khanzhonkova and other female film workers. It argues that women are not receiving the acknowledgements and credits for their labor; that men are unjustly being given or taking credit for the work of their female counterparts; and that historians unwillingly or willfully perpetuate the crime by repeating the suppression of women's contributions to the film industry.

Keywords:   silent cinema, Russian film industry, A. Khanzhonkov and Company, film studio, Russian cinema, Antonina Nikolaevna Khanzhonkova, Alexander Khanzhonkov, female film workers, film industry

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