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Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

Directed by Nina Menkes

Release: 2022
Runtime: 107
Country: U.S.
Language: English

“If the camera is predatory, then the culture is predatory.” In this eye-opening documentary, celebrated independent filmmaker Nina Menkes explores the sexual politics of cinematic shot design. Using clips from hundreds of movies we all know and love – from Metropolis to Vertigo to Phantom Thread – Menkes convincingly makes the argument that shot design is gendered. Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power illuminates the patriarchal narrative codes that hide within supposedly “classic” set-ups and camera angles, and demonstrates how women are frequently displayed as objects for the use, support, and pleasure of male subjects. Building on the essential work of Laura Mulvey and other feminist writers, Menkes shows how these not-so-subtle embedded messages affect and intersect with the twin epidemics of sexual abuse and assault, as well as employment discrimination against women, especially in the film industry. The film features interviews with an all-star cast of women and non-binary industry professionals including Julie Dash, Penelope Spheeris, Charlyne Yi, Joey Soloway, Catherine Hardwicke, Eliza Hittman, Maria Giese, and Rosanna Arquette. The result is an electrifying call-to-action that will fundamentally change the way you see, and watch, movies.

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Awards & Festivals

Sundance Film Festival
Berlin Film Festival
Frameline Film Festival

Press & Exhibitors

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Technical Info

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Color: Color and B&W

playdates

Venue City State Date
Alamo Drafthouse Los Angeles Los Angeles 1668834000November 19 - November 20, 2022
Alexandria Film Festival Alexandria 1668229200November 12 - November 13, 2022
Austin Film Society Austin 1669870800December 1 - December 5, 2022
Belcourt Theatre Nashville 1670043600December 3 - December 9, 2022
Bryn Mawr Film Institute Bryn Mawr 1668574800November 16 - November 17, 2022
Cinema Arts Centre Huntington 1671080400December 15 - December 16, 2022
Cinema Moderne Montreal 1667534400November 4 - November 18, 2022
Cleveland Cinematheque Cleveland 1668661200November 17 - November 20, 2022
Crandell Theatre Chatham 1666497600October 23 - November 13, 2022
Dairy Arts Center Boulder 1672203600December 28 - December 31, 2022
Facets Chicago 1670043600December 3 - December 11, 2022
Firehouse: DCTV’s Cinema for Documentary Film New York 1666324800October 21 - November 25, 2022
Gateway Film Center Columbus 1668142800November 11 - December 2, 2022
Grand Illusion Cinema Seattle 1667361600November 2 - December 1, 2022
Guild Cinema Albuquerque 1666670400October 25 - October 28, 2022
Historic Howell Theater Howell 1667534400November 4 - November 11, 2022
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Toronto 1666929600October 28 - November 7, 2022
Laemmle Theatres Los Angeles 1666324800October 21 - November 25, 2022
Lumiere Cinema Los Angeles 1666929600October 28 - November 4, 2022
Speed Art Museum Louisville 1668142800November 11 - November 14, 2022
Sudbury Indie Cinema Sudbury 1667970000November 9 - December 2, 2022
Suns Cinema Washington 1667970000November 9 - November 18, 2022
The New Parkway Theater Oakland 1667534400November 4 - November 25, 2022
VIFF Centre Vancouver 1666324800October 21 - October 29, 2022