Women’s Cinema, World Cinema: Projecting Contemporary Feminisms
Patricia White is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Swarthmore College. She is the author of
Is the Whole World Watching?: Fictions of Women’s Human Rights
Several acclaimed recent films by young women directors take on women’s human rights issues while countering visual tropes of victimhood and challenging national cinema paradigms. These films are “postnational” in their financing and in their exploration of rights beyond those conferred by the state. This chapter looks at works by three filmmakers that have won prizes at European film festivals while sparking debates in national and regional contexts. It analyzes Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar’s Silent Waters (2003), which explores the revelation of a Pakistani mother’s traumatic past through her son’s attraction to Islamic fundamentalism, as well as Jasmila Žbanić’s Grbavica: Land of my Dreams (2006), which dramatizes the legacy of the siege of Sarajevo through the story of a woman whose young daughter was conceived by rape. Finally, it assesses the career of Peruvian filmmaker Claudia Llosa as an example of the risks and opportunities posed to transnational women directors.
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