Where are the women in the history of British cinema? In Movie Workers: The Women Who Made British Cinema (U Illinois Press, 2021), Melanie Bell, a Professor of Film History at the University of Leeds, answers this question with a fascinating and compelling narrative telling the forgotten history of women as workers in the film industry. Drawing on union records and oral histories, as well as a wealth of historical knowledge and analysis, the book highlights women’s key contributions from the 1930s to the end of the 1980s, demonstrating the ongoing importance of women’s struggles, and their triumphs, to the film industry today. The book is essential reading across arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well as for anyone who has ever watched a film and wondered about how it was made!
Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield.