In this essay, Patricia White discusses the ways in which directors Kelly Reichardt, Chloé Zhao, and Jane Campion contend with the legacy of the Hollywood Western in the context of global cinema in their recent films First Cow (2019), Nomadland (2020), and The Power of the Dog (2021) respectively. Representing three different generations of women directors working within the American feature-film space, Campion, Reichardt, and Zhao all reference genre to question the masculinist Western ideology of rugged individualism, even as they use these works to distinguish themselves as individuals within the cinematic marketplace of auteurism.

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