Women and Nationalism in Indigenous Irish Filmmaking of the Silent Period

Casella, Donna R. (2013) Women and Nationalism in Indigenous Irish Filmmaking of the Silent Period. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsacta/3802. In: Researching Women in Silent Cinema: New Findings and Perspectives. A cura di: Dall'Asta, Monica ; Duckett, Victoria ; Tralli, Lucia. Bologna: Dipartimento delle Arti - DAR, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, pp. 53-80. ISBN 9788898010103. In: Women and Screen Cultures, (1). A cura di: Dall'Asta, Monica ; Duckett, Victoria. ISSN 2283-6462.
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Women in Ireland came into focus and onto the political stage during and as a result of nationalist and socialist movements that began in the mid-1700s and continued through the 1920s. Women like Anna Parnell, Constance Markievicz, and Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington participated in the land wars, struggles for independence from Britain and the suffragist movement. Indigenous silent feature filmmaking in Ireland was born out of this critical period of political and social change. From 1916 to 1935, Irish filmmakers produced over forty silent feature films only six of which have survived. A close study of these films, fragments of three others, and contemporary film reviews and archival synopses of the non-surviving films reveals how early Irish silent films tackled nationalist issues, but did little to represent the active participation of women. Women in these films are passive sisters, lovers, and mothers, impacted by rather than impacting historical events. This is not surprising. Irish silent cinema was a male-dominated industry with a nationalist agenda that perpetuated gender stereotypes. This study links nationalism and women in Irish silent cinema by looking at how female representation in these early films reflected a gendered ideology that existed in Irish culture alongside other narratives of the nation.

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Casella, Donna R.
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28 Sep 2013 15:08
Last modified
13 Mar 2015 14:50

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