Author: Hannah Cummings

Park vs. Prominence: How Bread (1918) Speaks for Women of the Silent Era

Since its inception, cinema as an art form has been a site of struggle. The legacy of female filmmakers, in particular, has been privy to a constant power struggle between legitimizing and validating their works, or being made insignificant by the Hollywood elite. Ida May Park’s directorial legacy, as explored through her film Bread, encapsulates the greater history of feminine struggle for recognition and equity wrought by a host of women in Hollywood both past and present. Despite being directly involved in delivering early silent cinema to the world, her and other female filmmakers were forced to constantly prove their existence in the industry as valuable. Additionally, the choices made by historical preservationists and academia communicate which films are worthy of safeguarding for posterity. Though many women fought to obtain recognition, other female auteurs films have faded away into obscurity. Ida May Park is one of the luckless female filmmakers and screenwriters whose cinematic legacy has been cut short due to a lack of archival work. As a result, her film Bread has since taken …

Hannah Cummings graduated OU with a major in Communication and a minor in Cinema Studies in 2020.