Housewives, forgotten in history: this documentary gives them a voice

A blind spot of the social sciences: housewives. In her new documentary, MichÃle Dominici gives a voice to those who stayed at home during the Glorious Thirties. Chosen or suffered, the status of these housewives is revealed to us through diaries, family films and television archives. Discovery.

photo : “The Forgotten History of Housewives”ARTE

The Post-War Period: Not Glorious for Women

The Glorious Thirties make this promise to young girls: to promote the noble mission of homemaker. The rise of television and advertising is helping to propagate this idealized, often misguided, image of a woman thriving in devotion.

In the new documentary by MichÃle Dominici, HAS” The Forgotten History of Housewives », the reality that comes to light is less brilliant: boredom, lethargy, tiredness or the guilt of not being happy are the daily fate of the women presented. Committed to others without ever having autonomy of their own (remember, it wasn’t until 1965 that women had the right to open a bank account in their name), these post-war housewives sometimes confided in their diaries.

Moreover, it is the Memoirs of his mother that led Michèle Dominici to make this film:

“She wrote her Memoirs, but her story ended the year of her marriage. When I asked her why, she replied: “Because after that it is not interesting anymore.†Graduated from Sciences Po and law, she stopped everything. HAS”

Michele Dominici for The world

Unpublished Documentary Work

To make this film, MichÃle Dominici relied on amateur films, clips from television programs, commercials. She worked hand in hand with documentalist Christine Loiseau, who searched family archives in movie theaters across the country.

The director also appealed to the Autobiography Association (APA), which collects stories from anonymous people: she had access to diaries in which women tell their daily stories. They are French, German, English and share the same malaise. Throughout the film, fragments of their story are told to us: a way of paying tribute to those born too early to be able to freely choose family life.

The documentary is available on the website of until December 13, 2022art

A film that makes us look back on a not so distant past, to give even more weight to the current feminist struggle.

Leave a Comment