A gifted Dutch director and screenwriter whose small output has made a considerable international splash, Marleen Gorris has managed to make substantial feminist statements in her work by finding relevant political issues and everyday wisdoms in her stories. Born in the Netherlands, Gorris took an interest in student theater early in life, which led her further into the arts. But it wasn’t until she was 30 that she began writing scripts. Gorris took her first effort to Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman, hoping to interest her in directing it. However, Akerman told Gorris that she must make the film herself. The result, A Question of Silence (1982), caused considerable international controversy with its story of three female strangers who brutally murder a male shopkeeper.
Gorris garnered more attention with her follow-up, the horror film Broken Mirrors (1984). Gorris did not complete another feature until 1990 with The Last Island. She worked mostly in Dutch TV during the 1990s, but by mid-decade she was finally able to complete filming a script she had written in 1988. Antonia’s Line (1995) won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, as well as other accolades internationally for Gorris, becoming her most well-received film.