Paris Was a Woman

Watch Paris Was a Woman

  • NR
  • 1995
  • 1 hr 15 min
  • 7.2  (183)

Paris Was a Woman is a fascinating documentary film released in 1996 that delves deep into the rich cultural and artistic history of Paris in the early twentieth century. Directed by Greta Schiller, the movie features a host of incredible interviews, archival footage, and photographs to tell the stories of some of the most influential women artists, writers, and thinkers of the time who flocked to Paris for inspiration and community.

The film opens with a brief introduction to Paris as the City of Light and how it quickly became the center of the artistic avant-garde around the turn of the century. The film then focuses on a particular group of women who were drawn to Paris and made it their home, such as Natalie Barney, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach, Djuna Barnes, and Colette.

Through interviews with these women's relatives and friends, as well as scholars and fellow artists, we are given a glimpse into their lives in Paris and their contributions to the cultural and social landscape of the era. The film reveals how these women pushed back against societal norms and expectations, exploring their sexuality, political views, and creative talents in a time when it was still taboo for women to do so.

Paris Was a Woman highlights how these women formed close-knit communities, often meeting in their homes and sharing their work and ideas with each other. They challenged each other and supported each other, ultimately changing the way the art world viewed women and their contributions. These bonds of friendship and artistic collaboration helped shape the cultural output of Paris at the time and had a profoundly transformative impact on modern art and literature.

The film also explores the themes of gender and sexuality at a time when it was considered scandalous for women to express themselves creatively or to have same-sex relationships. The film's subjects often had to contend with social ostracism and a lack of acceptance from wider society, as well as the added pressures of living through two world wars.

Paris Was a Woman offers a vivid and intimate look at the lives of these trailblazing women, from their childhoods to their achievements and struggles in Paris. We see rare footage and photographs of these women in their prime, and we hear their own words spoken in voiceover or in interviews that give us a window into their personalities, passions, and inspirations.

Director Greta Schiller masterfully weaves together the themes of art, gender, sexuality, and history into a cinematic tapestry that is both educational and engaging. The film's use of interviews and archival footage may be considered conventional, but the way it pieces together a history of Paris from a feminist perspective is groundbreaking.

In conclusion, Paris Was a Woman is a landmark documentary film that celebrates the courage and creativity of women who defied societal expectations and norms to make their mark on the world. With its moving portrayals, archival footage, and insightful analysis, it offers a vivid portrait of one of the most exciting periods in cultural history. For anyone interested in the art and cultural history of Paris or in the stories of extraordinary women whose lives deeply affected the course of history, Paris Was a Woman is a must-see.

Paris Was a Woman is a 1995 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 15 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.

Where to Watch Paris Was a Woman
Paris Was a Woman is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download on demand at . Some platforms allow you to rent Paris Was a Woman for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 15 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (183)