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Directors

Esfir Il’inishna Shub

An early Soviet filmmaker, the friend and colleague of Lev Kuleshov (1899–1970), Sergei Eisenstein (1898–1948), Vsevolod Pudovkin (1893–1953) and others, Esfir Shub was active as an editor, director, and writer of nonfiction films for twenty years, from 1927 to 1947—one of the few women in the Soviet Union at that time to achieve some standing in the film industry.

Orna Porat

Though Porat creates an impression of a tough, unyielding woman, she is easy to work with, neither recalcitrant nor stubborn, never offended and heeding the comments of others. While she is a versatile actor, she mostly performs women of strong, obstinate, determined and tough character.

Martha Morton

As a female playwright, Martha Morton faced adversity within the male-dominated New York theater world. Despite repeated rejection, she achieved fame and prosperity. Morton not only got her plays produced, but also directed and cast them herself, completely defying the theater industry’s expectations or vision of women’s involvement.

Ariane Mnouchkine

Perceived and acclaimed as a major figure in French contemporary theater, Ariane Mnouchkine incarnates aesthetic originality and the continuous quest for quintessential theater.

Hanna Meron (Marron)

An only child, Hanna Meron was born in Berlin on November 23, 1923. She began her long acting career as a four-year-old child prodigy, appearing in children’s theater, radio plays and films, including Fritz Lang’s famous M (1931).

Elaine May

Elaine May, half of one of the most successful American comic teams of the 1950s and 1960s, became one of Hollywood’s first important female directors in the 1970s and 1980s. She has often combined her talents for acting and screenwriting with her role as director.

Marceline Loridan-Ivens

Marceline Loridan-Ivens is known around the world for the superb documentaries that she codirected with her husband, the Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens (1898–1989). But the earliest part of her career, as well as her most recent work, depart from the documentaries by providing very personal, profoundly moving reflections on her identity as a Jewish woman, and it is her latest film, A Birch Tree Meadow/La petite prairie aux bouleaux (2003), that both established her as a significant voice in Jewish cinema and inaugurated (at age 75!) a new career as a feature film maker.

Gertrud Kraus

Gertrud Kraus, the “first lady” of modern expressionistic dance in Israel, was born in Vienna on May 5, 1901.

Esther Rachel Kaminska

In the first pages of her autobiography My Life, My Theater Ida Kaminska writes of her mother Esther Rachel, termed “the Jewish Eleonora Duse,” that she was educated by three forces: “the poverty she saw with her clever eyes, the suffering with which her great heart empathised, the injustice against which she was able to rebel. All became components of Esther Rachel Kaminska.”

Barbara Honigmann

Barbara Honigmann, who was born in East Berlin on February 12, 1949, is the most distinguished German-Jewish writer of the generations born after the Holocaust. Her father, Georg Honigmann, Ph.D. (1903–1984), who was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, emigrated to Great Britain in 1933 but later returned to the GDR, where he was a prominent journalist and film producer. Her mother, Alice (née Kohlmann, 1910–1984), was born in Vienna and emigrated to Great Britain in 1934. She worked in film dubbing. The couple divorced in 1954.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Directors." (Viewed on September 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/directors>.

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