Anthology Film Archives


August 2 – August 18

The process of reaching the age of maturity and entering adulthood is a phenomenon that is celebrated by cultures and religions around the world – and one that artists have long seen as ripe for investigation. It is also among the most challenging and confusing times in a person’s life, when they are forced to reassess everything about themselves and the world around them. Since the earliest days of cinema, films have explored the excitement and difficulty of the coming of age of both men and women – but men’s stories have traditionally been privileged, while women’s have too often been depicted from a man’s point of view.

Showcasing films that present women entering adulthood, exploring what it means to be a woman, and learning what is required to survive in the adult world, this extensive film series focuses exclusively on movies written and directed by female filmmakers. Women’s contributions to this sub-genre bloomed as the modern independent filmmaking movement took hold in the early 1990s. This series highlights that wave, as well as featuring a handful of pioneering films from decades prior, and demonstrating the extent to which it has continued to be a fruitful theme for women all over the world up until today.

For many of the filmmakers included here, their coming-of-age film came at the very beginning of their careers, suggesting the importance of the genre as a means for each of them to develop their creative identities and demonstrate their voice.In making these films, each director has helped to create space for women’s perspectives, often highlighting the underrepresented by making the vastness of their experiences visible, including especially marginalized individuals such as women from working class backgrounds or restrictive religious communities, women of color, and women discovering their sexuality. The protagonists in these films are struggling, unsure, yet determined, and therefore all the more compelling.

Guest-curated by Hannah Greenberg, who also wrote the introduction and individual film descriptions.

Special thanks to Peggy Ahwesh; Brian Belovarac (Janus Films); Daniel Bish (George Eastman Museum); Stephanie Carter (National Film & Sound Archive); Chris Chouinard (Park Circus); Bridget DeMouy (HBO); Michael DiCerto (Sony Pictures Classics); Justin DiPietro & AJ McAuley (IFC Films); Dennis Doros & Amy Heller (Milestone Films); Su Friedrich; Jason Jackowski (Universal); David Jennings (Sony); Alex Kopecky (Olive Films); Bryce Menzies; Kristie Nakamura (WB); Lynanne Schweighofer (Library of Congress); and Todd Wiener & Steven Hill (UCLA Film & Television Archive).

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