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10 Dec 20

The world-famous actress and international beauty Greta Garbo hid her private life from public view and was dubbed “the Mystery Woman of Hollywood.” In this talk, Lois Banner discusses Garbo’s quest for privacy and for reform amid the feminist movement of the 1920s, placing that era within the larger trajectory of the women’s suffrage movement of the nineteenth century and the meaning of feminism today. Banner discusses Garbo’s own politics, sexual orientation, and the actress’s lifelong struggle with depression. In the end, Banner argues, the film Queen Christina (1933) marked the height of her struggle with the Hollywood patriarchs, her revelation of her true self, and her defeat at the hands of the era’s moral crusaders.

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