The Death of the Father
TitleThe Death of the Father
DirectorJane Harris
CountryUK
Year1986
Duration29mins
Format16mm, Umatic video
DescriptionTHE DEATH OF A FATHER sets out to explore the way in which women are rendered silent, absent or marginal within a male-centred language system. As the film's publicity puts it - 'they say the language you speak is made up of words that are killing you'. The film opens on a banquet at which women remember their literary predecessors. Quoting from Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf and Marguerite Duras, they pose immediately the question of the position of women vis--vis language and culture. The scene then changes to a decaying cinema, where the gloomily lit figures of an usherette, an ice cream sales girl, and an all-male audience watch impassively as a dance is performed in front of the empty screen; it becomes clear that it is not only women writers but also women film directors that have been silenced, as the soundtrack recalls what a hall of fame there actually is.