The female director topped the best film vote after 70 years

A British Film Institute (BFI) poll of the best films of all time has for the first time in 70 years, a female director topped the list.

Hantal Akerman Jeanne Dielman’s 1975 film, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles took the top spot in the 2022 BFI Sight and Sound poll.

The poll is conducted every 10 years, with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo previously voted number one in 2012.

Before that, Orson Welles’ 1941 classic Citizen Kane dominated the list for 40 years.

No other film made by women has ever made the top 10 before, with Akerman placing 35th in 2012.

Jeanne Dielman follows the story of a Belgian widow, observing her three-day schedule of cooking, cleaning, and motherhood.

The woman also engages in prostitution to help provide for herself and her son, but ends up killing one of her clients.

At nearly three and a half hours, the film is considered by many to be a great work of feminist cinema.

Belgian director Akerman died in 2015, aged 65.

Laura Mulvey, professor of film studies at Birkbeck, University of London, called the film’s win in the poll a “sudden shock”.

“Things will never be the same,” she wrote in an article for the BFI.

The poll has been conducted by the institute’s Sight and Sound magazine every decade since 1952.

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It has previously been criticized for its lack of diversity in experts polled and a list of the 100 best films selected. The female director topped the best film vote after 70 years

Fry Electronics Team

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