This dissertation centers on New German Cinema filmmaker, Ula Stöckl, as a director and the first feminist filmmaker in Germany. Studying her gives scholars a better understanding of women directors, as she offers a female perspective in her films, which counters the "male gaze" seen in most traditional films. For Stöckl, getting to the crux of male-female power relationships and the hypocritical and deceptive logic that created them has become a lifelong passion. While addressing the masculine constructs of femininity and disregard of women's desires and actualities, Stöckl's films are significant in terms of the honest perspective they offer about women and their relationships, desires, and sexuality, and they argue for women to pursue an identity that they frame themselves. Stöckl was, arguably, the only woman addressing the socio-political frustrations of women in German cinema at the time that she began her film career in the early 1960s, and her stories and themes promote women's freedom to choose their own path, and be open and comfortable with their gender and sexuality. My analysis will demonstrate that Stöckl has been able to convey these important aspects of women in the dialogue and visual languages of her films, and particular attention will be paid to her films Antigone (1966), The Cat Has Nine Lives (1968), and The Sleep of Reason (1984). While a full consideration of her work is overdue, Stöckl has recently been gaining more recognition, and her accomplishments in film and the feminist movement have now begun to be celebrated at contemporary film festivals. Although Stöckl's films seem now to have been ahead of their time, they were in many ways apropos of their time, with the emerging second wave feminist movement of the 1960s in the West, and continue to be relevant today for their themes and historical context.


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Graduation Date





Stanfill, Mel


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Arts and Humanities

Degree Program

Texts and Technology




CFE0008952; DP0026285





Release Date

May 2025

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2025; it will then be open access.