Since the established of the film industry, women have played a critical role in ensuring that different films achieve their objectives and as such, their success on the market. Notably, most films feature women in their work as actors. In this way, they seek to portray a society that mirror the actual society especially with regard to gender composition. Thus, most women who have come to limelight as far as the film industry is concerned are actors. While this is the case, there are fewer women who have come to the limelight as film screenwriters, editors, producers and directors among other roles. For instance, in only three out of 21 directors competing for the Palme d’Or in 2018 were female. This implies that despite the growth of the film industry, the number of women who play different roles as far as film development is concerned are fewer as compared to men. Despite the low number of women in key roles in this industry, there are a few who have managed to break the ceiling and carved a niche for themselves as successful directors, editors, producers and screenwriters among other roles. Among these is Jane Campion, who has directed a number of successful films. This paper explores her work and as such, examines its significance in understanding different aspects of Hollywood cinema.
To begin with, Jane Campion was born on April 30, 1954, in Wellington, New Zealand. Campion studied Visual Arts at the Chelsea Art School, London, between 1976 and 1981. In 1982, she directed her first work, a short film named, Peel. Since then, Campion has directed tens of films, some of which have won accolades and awards across the globe. An analysis of the awards she has received for her work as a film producer and/or director reveals that she is the only woman who has ever been award with Palme d’Or, the highest award at Cannes Film Festival. Thus, throughout her career as a film director and producer, Campion has managed to carve for herself a niche as the one of the most successful woman in the film industry.
One of Jane Campion’s works that has won her awards at different cinema festivals including the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival is the film, The Piano. This film features a mute woman, Ada McGrath from Scotland, and her daughter, Flora. Ada is sold to an arrangement marriage to a New Zealand man, Alisdair Stewart. However, upon arrival in New Zealand, Alisdair informs Ada that his house is too small and cannot accommodate her piano, which is the only tool she uses to communicate with people. Ada later falls in love with Alisdair’s friend, Baines, and even when she is discouraged from seeing him by her husband when he discovers about the affair, she is not deterred. Alisdair ends up terminating his marriage to Ada and she ends up with Baines.