10 Female Movie Directors You Need to Know

Chantal Akerman

Most Notable Movie: Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

The Belgium-born filmmaker and artist was a founder of the art of turning traditional narrative on its head, which is made evident in her most famous film, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (a film with an all female-crew). The movie follows a single mother's regular day-to-day regime, through the course of three days. It focuses on everyday tasks, like her cooking and cleaning, but also adds another chore to her list, which she considers another aspect of her every day life: prostituting herself out to a male client to help pay for her and her son's livelihood. The mother's life is thrown off on the second day, when she drops a spoon and burns the potatoes, leading to an unexpected climax on the final day.

Perhaps Akerman's knowledge of womanly anxieties helped to make her film so well respected. Her grandparents and her mother were sent to Auschwitz, and only her mother returned. To that end, her mother's anxiety is a very common theme in all of her work.

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