Women Make Movies Women Make Movies View Cart
Women Make Movies

Promotional Photos
Related Titles
Related Links
Related Subjects
Asian American
Cinema Studies
Film History

click level for more info
DVD Sale $395.00
DVD Rental $150.00
DVD Sale $89.00

Golden Gate Girls
A film by S. Louisa Wei
US/Hong Kong, 2014, 90 minutes, Color, DVD, Chinese, Subtitled
Order No. W151154

In GOLDEN GATE GIRLS author and professor S. Louisa Wei tells the story of filmmaker Esther Eng, the first woman to direct Chinese-language film in the US, and the most prominent woman director in Hong Kong in the 1930’s. A San Francisco native and open lesbian, her contribution to film history is sadly overlooked – her 11 feature films mostly lost. After the retirement of director Dorothy Arzner in 1943 and before Ida Lupino began directing in 1949, Eng was the only woman directing feature length films in the US.

Wei’s documentary paints a fascinating picture of how Eng’s career in filmmaking broke through gender and racial boundaries in Hollywood and Hong Kong, at a time when opportunities for Chinese women in the industry were few and far between. With a captivating archive of newly discovered images and interviews with those who knew her, Wei uncovers a rich chapter of film history that challenges both gender hierarchies and national narratives. Essential viewing for Cinema Studies and Asian American Studies.


  • Washington DC Chinese Film Festival, Intra-Cultural Spotlight
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival
  • San Diego Asian Film Festival
  • CAAM Film Fest
  • Women Make Waves Film Festival
  • Paris Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival
  • Beijing Queer Film Festival
  • Helsinki Asian Film Festival

back to top


    "...extraordinarily interesting..."

    "...eye opening and compelling..."
    Hollywood Reporter

    "Golden Gate Girls restores Eng to her place in history, weaving her story in and out of those Hollywood contemporaries, director Dorothy Arzner and actress Anna May Wong."
    Patricia White, Professor and Chair
    Film and Media Studies, Swarthmore College

    "Golden Gate Girls is cultural history at its best."
    Staci Ford, Hon Associate Lecturer
    Department of History, Hong Kong University

    "Golden Gate Girls is alluringly posited at the intersection of these fields: how women’s contribution to film history overlaps with the tumultuous History of the 20th century." – and Professor, California Institute of the Arts.
    Bérénice Reynaud, Festival Curator
    Professor, California Institute of the Arts

    "Louisa Wei takes us on a journey of discovery in the footsteps of the remarkable Esther Eng. Wei provides a sensitive portrait of the intrepid, but largely neglected filmmaker who too easily fell through the cracks between Asian American and Chinese screen history."
    Gina Marchetti
    Professor, Hong Kong University

back to top

    Golden Gate Girls is included in the following Special Collections.
back to toptop

back to toptop


back to top

Navaigate New Releases Previous Title Next Title Year Subject Title Maker

  Sign up to get our monthly newsletter delivered by email.

You'll get the latest info on WMM films, filmmakers, new releases and worldwide events.
Read the current issue and subscribe!


WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

Deep discounts are available when you purchase multiple films. More details.

© Women Make Movies, 2005
site map

Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us