Fox, Beryl (1931—)

views updated

Fox, Beryl (1931—)

Canadian documentary filmmaker. Born in Canada in 1931.


"Balance of Terror" (1962); "Servant of All" (1962); "One More River" (1963); "Three on a Match" (1963); "The Single Woman and the Double Standard" (1963); "Summer in Mississippi" (1963); "The Chief" (1964); "The Mills of the Gods: Vietnam" (1965); "The Honourable Rene Levesque" (1966); "Saigon: Portrait of a City" (1967); "Last Reflections on a War" (1968); "A View from the 21st Century" (1968); "Memorial to Martin Luther King" (1969); "Be a Man—Sell Out!" (1969); "North with the Spring" (1970); "Here Come the Seventies" (series, 1970–72); "Travel and Leisure (1971); "Jerusalem" (1973); "Habitat 2000" (1973); "Man into Superman" (1974); "Wild Refuge" (series, 1974); "Take My Hand" (1975); "How to Fight with Your Wife" (1975); "The Visible Woman" (1975); "Return to Kansas City" (1978). Film: Images of the Wild (1978); Fields of Endless Days (1978); Dr. Elizabeth (1978); Rose's House (1979); Hot Wheels (1979); By Design (1981).

Beryl Fox began her career in the early 1960s at the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) as a script assistant in the sports department. "I was so bad at it they never let me do hockey, only bowling," said Fox. "The only reason I advanced was because … I never refused any kind of work." "No matter how scared you are," she advises women filmmakers, "never say no."

She learned fast. By 1965, Fox had produced and directed The Mills of the Gods, an hour-long documentary, shot on location, about combat in Vietnam. Besides being cited as Film of the Year by the Canadian Film Institute, the documentary also won the prestigious George Polk Memorial Award. Fox continued to cover Vietnam, the first Canadian to do so, with The Mill of the Gods, Saigon, and Last Reflections on a War: Bernard Fall, concerning the war correspondent who was killed there.

During the turbulent '60s, Fox was not only at the right place at the right time, but she had a knack for capturing the feeling of an era. Her coverage of black voter registration and race relations in the South in "One More River" and "Summer in Mississippi" contains some of the best documentary footage of the time.

Fox left the CBC in 1966 though she continued to produced documentaries for television throughout the '70s. She began producing feature films for theatrical release in the 1980s, including By Design, starring American actress Patty Duke .


Kuhn, Annette, and Susannah Radstone, eds. The Women's Companion to International Film. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1990.

Smith, Sharon. Women Who Make Movies. NY: Hopkinson and Blake, 1975.

Deborah Jones , Studio City, California