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Spark of Discovery

The Grierson Sisters

The Grierson Family, from Hardy, Forsyth. John Grierson: A Documentary Biography. 1979.

We first came across Ruby and Marion Grierson in an article by academic Sarah Neely. We discovered “Sisters of Documentary: The influence of Ruby Grierson and Marion Grierson on documentary in the 1930s” purely by chance, while researching female Scottish filmmakers.


Ruby and Marion were the sisters of the “Father of Documentary”, John Grierson and their own filmmaking has largely been eclipsed by their brother’s reputation. Both sisters worked with Grierson on his films as producers and assistant directors, where they would sometimes be credited, but often not. Both also went on to direct and produce themselves.


Their films attracted some acclaim at the time and have occasionally been examined since, but their work has never reached the same prestige as their brother’s.

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