Why was pioneering director Alice Guy-Blaché erased from history?

A new documentary sheds light on the career of the forgotten Frenchwoman who helped write the rules of filmCall yourself a cinephile and you’ve never heard of Alice Guy-Blaché? Don’t worry, most film-makers haven’t heard of her either.

But we all should have done.

In fact, there should be statues of her and cinemas named after her.

At the very least, Guy-Blaché’s name belongs in chapter one of cinema history, because she was the first female film director; indeed, for a good decade she was the only female film director.Guy-Blaché was in the room when the Lumière brothers held the first ever cinema screening, in Paris in March 1895.

By the following year, she was making her own films.

And while the Lumières were still hung up on cinema as a technological spectacle – “Look! A train!” – Guy-Blaché immediately saw its potential for telling stories.

Even her 60-second debut,

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