Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Great Women Writers The Bronte Sisters|
Director: Dominique Mougenot
This fascinating series presents an informative and entertaining look at some of the greatest women writers of all time. The programs provide an in-depth look into their lives, and include numerous examples of their wor... more »
More Accurately, Bronte Siblings
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 09/05/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Oops! I didn't know there were three Bronte sister authors. I thought there were just two. Further, they had a brother who was mainly a painter. I really wonder if a men's studies scholar could write about what it was like for him to have more celebrated female siblings working in a different field than his own. The work implies that the Bronte's father outlived all his children, yet they don't describe his emotions about that tragedy.
This work, like most works in the series, focuses upon the times in which the books were published, rather than the books themselves. I learned nothing about Heathcliffe and who won the love triangle and all that stuff for which Bronte books are famous. To those with sharp memories, the drawings and modern tapings may get repetitive. However, I am sure the documentary makers were just working with what little they had. At one point, a scene of 1800s Edinburgh was shown, but there's no suggestion that any Bronte sibling visited that town.
The narrator pronounces that last name as if it had an accent aigu on the "e" and thus sounded French. With its umlaut on that vowel, I would have thought the last name would have sounded more German, like Goethe's name. The narrator has terrible French pronunciation. At one point, they show a drawing of a building that says "Desormais" on it. If I remember correctly, that word means "unfortunately" in French, but the narrator says nothing about it.
The Brontes struggled with issues with which many modern artists with sympathize: rejection from publishers, a lack of money, boring daytime jobs, worsening illnesses, etc. Still, this work doesn't present the family as nice people. It stresses how they didn't care for their jobs, didn't like their associates, rejected many a marriage proposal, refused medicines that might have extended their lives. Though the family was creative, this work, at least, portrays them as miserable.
The work never discusses whether the Bronte sisters would have supported gender equality. Unlike works on Austen, it never says whether their work accurately portrayed women or gender issues of the time. These are female writers, but the themes of women's studies and literary criticism never come up.
This documentary did not want to make me read a Bronte book at all. Still, I appreciated learning some about the family and why they are celebrated. I am glad the documentary helped me to obtain this cultural capital."