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Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

Country: United States, Language: English, 105 mins

Original Title

  • Director: Nina Menkes
  • Producer: Deirdre Brennan, Sandra de Castro Buffington, Abigail Disney, Tim Disney, Maria Giese, Guo Guo, Sarah Ben Hardouze, Susan Disney Lord, Nina Menkes, Cecily Rhett, Inka Rusi, Tanja Rusi, Melody Sui, Summer Xinlei Yang

CGiii Comment

Since 2017, #MeToo and the no-longer-covered-up abuse of countless women by Harvey Weinstein have called many things into question in the film industry. This documentary analysis of the male gaze in cinema is based on Nina Menkes’ lecture “Sex and Power: The Visual Language of Oppression”. In it, Menkes uncovers patriarchal narrative structures that lie behind supposedly classic set-ups and camera angles. Making use of feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey’s theses on the objectification and sexualisation of the female body, she shows how aesthetic decisions such as camera movement or lighting influence the perception of women on screen, and how shot design functions as an instrument and a mirror of power relations. In doing so, she determines a connection between established film language and a culture of misogyny that leads to the abuse of women beyond the screen. Her individual analyses of scenes from 120 years of film history demystify many a cult film in the independent canon – because the film language that has been shaped by the patriarchy pervades more than just Hollywood cinema.


Cast & Characters

Rosanna Arquette (as Self)
Charlyne Yi (as Self)
Catherine Hardwicke (as Self)
Penelope Spheeris (as Self)
Joey Soloway (as Self)
Eliza Hittman (as Self)
Julie Dash (as Self)
Nina Menkes (as Self)
Nancy Schreiber (as Self)
Maria Giese (as Self)
Amy Ziering (as Self - Interviewee)
Ita O'Brien (as Self)
Freddy D. Ramsey Jr. (as Self - Interviewee)
Lara Dale (as Self)
Sandra de Castro Buffington (as Self)
Kathleen Antonia (as Self (Kathleen Antonia Tarr))
Rhiannon Aarons (as Self)
Iyabo Kwayana (as Self)
Maya Montañez Smukler (as Self)
Laura Mulvey (as Self)
May Hong HaDuong (as Self Interviewee)