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The Incredible Story of the First Woman Film Director Short Film Review


Directed by: #ToniVGenov


This short documentary focuses on the incredible work of Alice Guy-Blaché, the first female director who began her career as early as 1896, experimenting with colour, visuals and sound effects in movies. Unfortunately, the reason as to why she is not heard about to this day is due to several factors. Alice was a woman in a very male dominated industry and many people tried to have her fired and removed from the set, they did not want this amount of credit being given to a woman. Moreover, many of her films were destroyed and her company did in fact go bankrupt. A lot of tragic circumstances occurred during Alice’s career; however, this documentary highlights her remarkable work and shows the world the innovations and unique perspective she had within the film industry. This film is truly enlightening and reveals to the audience a story which otherwise may have been untold.

This was a fascinating short film that kept me invested throughout, I wanted to learn more about Alice Guy-Blaché’s life and discover the projects she had created and was a part of throughout her lifetime. This is a sad, yet informative piece and it is crucial that we learn about pioneers such as Alice in history, those that are sometimes forgotten yet are the ones that pave the way for many directors and artists to this day. The short goes on to explain that film during this period were essentially documentaries of everyday life and factual. However, Alice had the idea of filming fictional scenes, inspired by books (being the daughter of a book seller). It was this moment that practically changed the future of film. This spectacular idea made Alice’s career flourish and Léon Gaumont made her the Head of Production of his own company.

I enjoyed the style of this documentary; it took raw footage of Alice’s life and added a modern twist to it by using Facebook group references and messaging between some of the important characters such as Alice and Léon. This certainly draws in a younger audience to want to learn more from this documentary and allows for a storyline that is snappy and flows extremely well. This type of film making is very popular and is often seen on many Netflix documentaries, it’s a style that keeps us invested and spells out the story of each character coherently and with a lot of detail. There were times that it was information overload! However, this isn’t an issue, the documentary could have slowed down in parts so that we could have a full and complete understanding of Alice’s life. It was clear that Alice’s life was rich and full, so it’s crucial that the audience can soak up all this information.

This Untold Story is a great documentary that gives Alice Guy-Blaché a voice, it’s a platform which examines the value of her work and the influence she has had on directors and the film industry. Without her, cinema may not be where it is today, this type of passion and enthusiasm for cinema should be celebrated and highlighted to all.


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