Ėsfir’ Shub on Women in the Editing Room: “The Work of Montazhnitsy” (1927)
Keywords:Ėsfir’ Shub, Soviet Union, montage, editing, feminist film history, women’s cinema.
AbstractThis is the first English translation of a 1927 article by Soviet documentary filmmaker Ėsfir’ Shub, in which she profiles the contributions of women to Soviet film editing departments. The translation pays particular attention to the titular figure of the montazhnitsa (translated as “montagess”) — a gender-specific position within the studio structure. The translator’s introduction contextualizes Shub’s article and teases out her subtle interventions into the gendered rhetoric that diminished the status of female editing assistants (including, by extension, Shub’s own work as a director-editor). In particular, the introduction points to the importance of technical expertise, visual memory, and critical discernment in Shub’s account of the work of the montagess.
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