When it comes to the institutional sexism that women directors face in Hollywood, the past isn’t dead and buried — it isn’t even past.
The recent history and the slowly shifting present of the industry-wide bias that confronts women directors are chronicled in an excellent 26-minute segment from Bloomberg Business. The video focuses on the many failures of the DGA to champion its female members effectively and includes interviews with directors Catherine Hardwicke, Lexi Alexander, Martha Coolidge, Victoria Hochberg, Maria Giese and Rachel Feldman. Geena Davis also appears to explain why having more women behind the camera is a win for female representation on screen as well.
Alexander provides the segment’s two most poignant moments, when she declares that she’d advise young women against going into directing and shares that confronting so much rejection and prejudice has frequently given her a lost sense of self. Feldman discusses a project close to her heart that she’ll likely have to hand over to a male filmmaker if she wants it to ever see the light of day, while Hardwicke reveals that “getting a job after ‘Twilight’ made [nearly $400 million on a $38 million production budget] was just as hard — in fact, I made less money on my next job.”
Asks Martha Coolidge, the first female president of the DGA, “Do we have enough virtue to do the right thing, or will this be a war?” If conditions are indeed changing on the ground, it isn’t happening quickly enough.