Why Women Directors Aren’t Getting a Platform

Review: The characters in timely pre-Roe abortion drama ‘Call Jane’ never feel like people except when they are acting, only to become faceless cardboard cutouts.

In the world of contemporary feminist filmmaking, the names of women directors in the U.S. do not seem to warrant their work. But in their own way, these are women directors. So why aren’t they given a platform?

At the end of “Call Jane”, a documentary about women’s abortion rights, director Kathryn Hahn (“A Girl Is A Half-Formed Story”) asks, “Why isn’t anyone telling the stories of women directors, like you?” and the question is answered with silence.

Hahn, a woman director, is joined by a few other women. They are the women directors that don’t make it into the mainstream of filmmaking, films and art made as a women’s voice. And because they’re not making it into the mainstream, there is no platform for their work. It’s easy to point to their gender as the reason. But, in the end, it is a narrative that could also be applied to any of us. We all can stand to hear a story of women that haven’t had their voices heard for centuries.

It’s difficult to pick a woman by her name when she makes just as much art, but at the same time, I’ve come to realize that she must make it so. Because in “Call Jane,” the only characters are people. And it does feel like “Call Jane” is just a way for Hahn to talk about women at their best. But because these women are silent, they aren’t really talking at all.

Lena Dunham is a pretty amazing name. At first glance, she’s a funny, talented, and, most importantly, a feminist. But as Hahn points out, “Call Jane” is not a fun film. It’s a work that Hahn wrote specifically

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