Herstory on Film

Each month, the Herstory Club curates a selection of films that complement our monthly theme. This collection will be female-focused – both in front of the camera and ideally behind too – and range from fiction to biopics of real women in history. The films we’ll be recommending aim to both entertain and educate, showcasing … Continue reading Herstory on Film

Josephine Baker: Flapper, war hero, civil rights activist

by Louise Quick Where to start with Josephine Baker? She was a glitzy 1920s star, a World War Two spy, and the only woman to speak during the March on Washington. Let’s begin where she did, with dancing! The performer Google ‘Josephine Baker’ and you’ll quickly find images of her wearing little more than a … Continue reading Josephine Baker: Flapper, war hero, civil rights activist

#HeForShe – Women at the cinema in 1950s Britain

by Sam Manning The 1950s was a period of decline for cinema as UK admissions fell from 1.4 billion in 1950 to under 500 million by the start of the 1960s. Cinemas were still important social spaces, but greater television ownership, improved housing conditions and new forms of youth culture are just some of the … Continue reading #HeForShe – Women at the cinema in 1950s Britain

Remembering Two Gainsborough Girls: Patricia Roc and Phyllis Calvert.

by Linda Pike This blog is to commemorate two female stalwarts of British wartime cinema who have largely been forgotten. Between 1943-1946 Gainsborough Pictures adapted their film production of comedies starring Will Hay, Arthur Askey and George Formby to take advantage of the social and cultural shifts which saw women’s financial responsibility, independence and sexual … Continue reading Remembering Two Gainsborough Girls: Patricia Roc and Phyllis Calvert.

Verity Lambert – the founding producer of Doctor Who

by Louise Bell I am a big Doctor Who fan – have been ever since it returned in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston in the role and my Dad suggested that I watch it. I’ll admit at this point that I’ve never watched an episode produced earlier than this though…. and it’s obviously been exciting to … Continue reading Verity Lambert – the founding producer of Doctor Who

Downton Abbey and the Disabled Servicemen of the First World War

by Beth Wyatt A decade ago this year, ITV’s aristocratic period drama Downton Abbey returned for its second season. Following on in theme from the dramatic conclusion of the first series – which saw Lord Grantham announce the outbreak of war to his family, domestic staff, and garden party guests – these episodes depicted the First World … Continue reading Downton Abbey and the Disabled Servicemen of the First World War

Sarah Bernhardt: The ‘Divine Eccentric’

by Aoife Sutton Iconic, eccentric, and eventually ‘divine’ - Sarah Bernhardt was a woman that went down in history. Rising from humble beginnings to international stardom, Sarah is thought to have been the illegitimate daughter of a courtesan called Judith Bernard. As a woman of Dutch Jewish origin, Sarah faced antisemitism in her professional and … Continue reading Sarah Bernhardt: The ‘Divine Eccentric’

Women Projectionists in Wartime Cinema

by Linda Pike I am grateful for this opportunity to write for Herstory Club as part of their Film and TV blog to acknowledge the work made by those women who were often ‘hidden from history’, female film projectionists. ‘Going to the pictures’ was Britain’s most popular leisure activity during the Second World War, with … Continue reading Women Projectionists in Wartime Cinema

‘I am just an ordinary woman’ The Odette Legend

by Ashleigh Percival-Borley Odette was released in 1950. Directed and produced by Herbert Wilcox & Anna Neagle, distributed by British Lion Films I was a twenty-two-year-old combat medic, conducting pre-deployment training before being sent to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK. The day's training had come to an end, so I returned to my accommodation to change … Continue reading ‘I am just an ordinary woman’ The Odette Legend

Pocahontas: The Imperialist Truth Hidden Behind the Disney Film

by Olivia Smith Pocahontas has always been my favourite Disney film. To me she wasn’t illustrated like the other ‘Princesses’ - she was strong minded and adventurous. Characteristics that even as an adult I still resonate with. It was in the first lockdown that I listened to Greg Jenner’s Homeschool History episode on Pocahontas. He … Continue reading Pocahontas: The Imperialist Truth Hidden Behind the Disney Film