IRENE LUSZTIG is a feminist filmmaker, archival researcher, educator, and amateur seamstress. She works in a space of delicate mediation between people, their pasts, and the present-tense spaces and landscapes where unresolved histories bloom and erupt. Often beginning with rigorous research in archives, her work brings historical materials into conversation with the present, inviting viewers to contemplate questions of politics, ideology, and the complex ways that personal, collective, and national memory are entangled.
She is invested in expanding the form of artful nonfiction through her lyrical use of archival images, her commitment to listening-centered and collaborative methods, patient durational shooting, and open-ended editing. She is the director, producer, and editor of three acclaimed feature length documentaries that have screened widely in festivals and are distributed by Women Make Movies: her debut film Reconstruction (2001), the feature length archival film essay The Motherhood Archives (2013), and the performative documentary Yours in Sisterhood (2018). Her fourth and newest feature length work, Richland, takes place in and around the Eastern Washington nuclear company town that produced the Nagasaki bomb plutonium and premiered at Tribeca in 2023.
Born in England and raised in Boston, Irene is a first generation American whose parents left Ceaucescu’s Romania as political defectors. Her work has been screened around the world, including at the Berlinale, MoMA, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archive, Flaherty NYC, IDFA Amsterdam, Hot Docs, Sheffield DocFest, AFI Docs, BFI London Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, DocLisboa, and RIDM Montréal. She has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Fulbright, two MacDowell fellowships, the Flaherty Film Seminar, and the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship. She teaches filmmaking at UC Santa Cruz where she is Professor of Film and Digital Media.