as part of Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers
Part of our PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS series.
In the Wild West days of early filmmaking—before Hollywood hardened into an assembly-line behemoth and boys’ club—talented women worked regularly as writers, producers, and directors, instrumental in shaping the very language of cinema as we know it. Nevertheless, figures like Alice Guy Blaché and Lois Weber are known today primarily by aficionados, and artists like Nell Shipman, Grace Cunard, and Marion E. Wong remain woefully obscure. Bringing together dozens of essential new restorations, this series spotlights the daring, innovative, and trailblazing work of the first female filmmakers and restores their centrality to the creation of cinema itself.
Directed by David Hartford / 1919 / 74 min.
With Nell Shipman, Charles Arling, Wheeler Oakman
One of the most dynamic personalities both on and off screen in the silent era, Canadian producer and director Nell Shipman wrote and stars in this Far North-set adventure about a resourceful frontierswoman who uses her wits to survive in the Arctic while fending off menacing men. Shot through with Shipman’s reverence for nature (she was early champion of animal rights), BACK TO GOD’S COUNTRY became the most successful Canadian film of the silent era.
"A corrective to our collective amnesia. A thrilling look at the variety of films made by women, most before they won the right to vote." -Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"Provides a rare opportunity to see some of the greatest films helmed by early Hollywood's intrepid women...filling in the blanks of the past and reclaiming the medium's forgotten stories." -Christina Newland, Village Voice