Impossible Image

Karen Pearlman* (Director)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Non-traditional research outputDigital or Visual products


Impossible Image is a documentary and dancefilm, remixing silent film footage with contemporary dance. It slams together the anarchy and gender play of women of the 1920s, with the fury, irony, and sly humour of dancing women in the 2020s. Mixing contemporary action and archival footage creates a montage of rage, hilarity and feminist protest echoing across 100 years. Inspired by the physicality of the silent film era comediennes, and their rampaging disregard for the order of things and the positions they are expected to occupy, this project combines archival footage and contemporary dance sequences to draw parallels between subversive forms of protest from our great-grandmothers to ourselves. The past and the present coming together to challenge gender performance and shake down the patriarchy.

At the 2023 Exeter Dance International Film Festival, UK, Impossible Image won ‘Best Documentary’ and ‘Honourable Mention for Best Editing’. It was the winner of the 2024 Thomas Edison Film Festival ‘Jury’s Stellar Award for Screen Dance’ and included in their 43rd Annual Touring Season. Between August 2023 and June 2024, Impossible Image screened at over 20 film festivals.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputFilm
Size8 minutes
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Verified by the Faculty of Arts Creative Works Sub-committee as a J2 (1 point), on Monday, 6 May 2024. EG.


  • women
  • feminist film histories
  • dance
  • activism
  • creative practice
  • documentary
  • screendance
  • dancefilm


Dive into the research topics of 'Impossible Image'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this