Part of the Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers series
This survey of women’s lesser-known work in many genres includes action/adventure from Grace Cunard, comedy by Angela Murray Gibson, documentary by Zora Neale Hurston, and dramas from Ida May Park, Lule Warrenton, and Marion E. Wong.
The program includes:
The Purple Mask Episode 12 – Vault of Mystery | Dir. Grace Cunard | (1917) | 20 min | Cunard herself portrays a combination of Batman and Robin Hood, always one step ahead of the law and the bad guys.
Daughter of the Law | Dir. Grace Cunard | (1921) | 22 min | A scrappy Secret Service agent (Cunard) on the trail of bootleggers in rural mountain country.
That Ice Ticket | Dir. Angela Murray Gibson | (1923) | 10 min | In this romantic comedy, a woman (Gibson) is both unlucky in love and plagued by her brother’s pranks.
Documentary footage | Dir. Zora Neale Hurston | (1929) | 10 min | Writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston captured this rare footage of early-20th-century Black Southern life while she was training as an anthropologist and conducting research in Florida.
Bread | Ida May Park | (1918) | 16 min | This socially engaged drama follows the fate of a woman struggling to pull herself out of poverty as she’s ruthlessly exploited by a string of men.
When Little Lindy Sang | Lule Warrenton | (1916) | 11 min | Lindy is the only Black girl in an otherwise white classroom.
Curse of Quon Gwon | Marion E. Wong | (1916) | 35 min | A Chinese-American family is struck by an ancient curse as its members become increasingly westernized.