Women's filmmaking in France has been a source of both delight and despair.
On the one hand, the numbers are impressive - over 250 feature-length films were made by over 100 women directors in France in the 1980s and 1990s.
On the other hand, despite the heritage of French feminism, French women directors characteristically disclaim their gender as a significant factor in their filmmaking.
This incisive study provides an informative, critical guide to this major body of work, exploring the boundaries between personal films (intimate psychological dramas relating to key stages in life) and genre films (which demonstrate women's ability to appropriate and rework popular genres).
It analyzes the effects of postfeminism, women's desire to enter the mainstream, and the impact of a new generation of filmmakers, enabling readers to take stock of the wealth and diversity of women's contribution to French cinema during the 1980s and 1990s.