Silent Women, Pioneers of Cinema


A book which explores the hidden history of female filmmakers who were pioneers at the dawn of cinema.


Silent Women, Pioneers of Cinema

Edited by Melody Bridges and Cheryl Robson

With a Foreword by Bryony Dixon, Silent Film Curator at the British Film Institute

Named one of the Best Film Books of the Year by Huffington Post

Covers the hidden history of cinema’s diverse beginnings including American, European and African-American female filmmakers, cinematographers, editors, critics and screenwriters.

Essential reading for students of film studies, media, culture and gender/women studies.

Taps into the current debate about discrimination within the media and creative industries.


Contributors include film experts Kevin Brownlow, Bryony Dixon and Shelley Stamp.

Voted the best book published about silent cinema in THE SILENT LONDON POLL OF 2016

#1 Amazon Best Seller: Silent Film

Concludes with a chapter by feature film director Maria Giese, who instigated the Civil Liberties investigation into sexism in Hollywood, on the current status of women behind the camera in Hollywood today.

About the Book

Why have women such as Alice Guy-Blache, the creator of narrative cinema, been written out of film history? Why have so many women working behind the scenes in film been rendered invisible and silent for so long?

Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema explores the incredible contribution of women at the dawn of cinema when, surprisingly, more women were employed across the board in the film industry than they are now. It also looks at how women helped to shape the content, style of acting and development of the movie business in their roles as actors, writers, editors, cinematographers, directors and producers. In addition, we describe how women engaged with and influenced the development of cinema in their roles as audience, critics, fans, reviewers, journalists and the arbiters of morality in films. And finally, we ask when the current discrimination and male domination of the industry will give way to allow more women access to the top jobs.

In addition to its historical focus on women working in film during the silent film era, the term silent also refers to the silencing and eradication of the enormous contribution that women have made to the development of the motion picture industry.

1 review for Silent Women, Pioneers of Cinema

  1. AMB01

    What is perhaps most compelling about Silent Women is its documentation of the sheer graft and willpower behind these pioneering women’s work. Favouring historicity over critical theory, it does that most noble task of telling the stories that need to be told..

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