Women and the New German Cinema
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232 pages / June 1992 / 9780860915683

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There were virtually no women film directors in germany until the 1970s. today there are proportionally more than in any other film-making country, and their work has been extremely influential. Directors like Margarethe von Trotta, Helma Sanders-Brahms, Ulrike Ottinger and Helke Sander have made a huge contribution to feminist film culture, but until now critical consideration of New German Cinema in Britain and the United States has focused almost exclusively on male directors such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Wim Wenders.

In Women and the New German Cinema Julia Knight examines how restrictive social, economic and institutional conditions have compounded the neglect of the new women directors. Rejecting the traditional auteur approach, she explores the principal characteristics of women’s film-making in the 1970s and 1980s, in particular the role of the women’s movement, the concern with the notion of a ‘feminine aesthetic’, women’s entry into the mainstream, and the emergence of a so-called post-feminist cinema.
This timely and comprehensive study will be essential reading for everyone concerned with contemporary cinema and feminism.


“Her book fills a major gap in the ever-growing literature on the new German Cinama as well as providing an important contribution to the wider debates around feminist and post-feminist film culture.”

“This is a vital, pioneering book, and I hope it will enable women in Britain and America to discuss the develop the work we have been producing in Germany for the last two decades.”

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