Joan Micklin Silver

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Joan Micklin Silver, 1935–2020

Abstract notions of feminism never interested Joan; specific women and their stories did. Yet without setting out to do so, Joan Silver influenced generations of women to come. She was a trail-blazer, a risk-taker, a champion of other women directors. 

Birth of writer Marisa Silver

April 23, 1960
"I write like a collagist might work. I piece together random things and try to find their underlying joins. I don’t assert meaning or purpose. I let all that emerge." - Writer Marisa Silver

"Crossing Delancey" released

September 16, 1988

Joan Micklin Silver's Crossing Delancey, a Jewish-themed romantic comedy, was released in theaters on September 16, 1988.

Yiddish Theater in the United States

Women have always been important as both Yiddish theater audiences and actors. For a decade and more, most American Yiddish actors were immigrants, as were their audiences. Often families played in the same company, such as the famous Adler family. Now, as Yiddish theater has become attenuated, the loyalties and memories of women are important for its survival.

Joan Micklin Silver

Award-winning director and screenwriter Joan Micklin Silver, born in 1935 in Omaha, Nebraska, wrote and directed the 1975 barrier-breaking independent film Hester Street, which sparked an interest in the lives of immigrant Jews. She also directed Crossing Delancey (1988), five other feature films, and several films for television.

Filmmakers, Independent North American

Jewish women directors have made significant contributions to independent film and have created mainstream and experimental works that attempt to redefine Jewish identity. Subverting male-dominated Jewish literary and Hollywood traditions, these filmmakers employ images of hybrid identities and illuminate the lives of Jewish women in their work.

Film Industry in the United States

Jewish women have played crucial roles in the United States film industry. Despite sexism and sometimes anti-Semitism, they have worked both behind the scenes, as writers, directors, and producers, as well as on-screen as both Jewish and non-Jewish characters.


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