by Matt Losada
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Paper: 978-1-9788-1454-7 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-1458-5 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-1455-4
Library of Congress Classification PN1995.9.W6L68 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.430230820982

Before Bemberg: Argentine Women Filmmakers calls into question the historiography of Argentine women filmmakers that has centered on María Luisa Bemberg to the exclusion of her predecessors. Its introductory discussion of the abundant initial participation by women in film production in the 1910s is followed by an account of their exclusion from creative roles in the studio cinema, which was only altered by the opportunities opened by a boom in short filmmaking in the 1960s. The book then discusses in depth the six sound features directed by women before 1980, which, despite their trailblazing explorations of the perspectives of female characters, daring denunciations of authoritarianism and censorship, and modernizing formal invention, have been forgotten by Argentine film history. Looking at the work and roles of Eva Landeck, Vlasta Lah, María Herminia Avellaneda and María Elena Walsh and Maria Bemberg, the book recognizes these filmmakers’ contributions at a significant moment in which movements to eliminate gender-based oppression and violence in Argentina and elsewhere are surging.

Watch some of the films discussed in the book with English subtitles (