Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

Panorama Audience Award
Berlin International Film Festival
Teddy Award ~ Best Documentary Film
Berlin International Film Festival
Nina Menkes’ eye-opening documentary will forever change how you look at films.


Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

“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 and Vertigo to Pulp Fiction and Lost in Translation – 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. Drawing connections to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, 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 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, and Rosanna Arquette. The result is an electrifying call-to-action that will fundamentally change the way you see, and watch, movies.

2022 Female Empowerment Seal- Critics Choice Association
2022 Best of Fest- Alexandria Film Festival, Virginia

“Menkes is a real no-bullshit breath of fresh air. With a torch. And with any luck, she’s heading your way to set fire to something, soon." ~ Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily

“An expansive documentary on the gendered nature of film language.” ~ Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

"A documentary for any woman in film who ever wanted, just even for a moment, to throw a grenade at the canon." ~ Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily

"Completely eye-opening. A needed reminder to pay closer attention.” ~ Nick Allen,
Not Rated
Documentary, Films & Filmmakers, Feminism, Women and Film
Nina Menkes
Tim Disney, Susan Disney Lord, Abigail Disney
Nina Menkes
Nominee, Panorama Audience Award, Berlin International Film Festival
Nominee, Teddy Award ~ Best Documentary Film, Berlin International Film Festival
Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Filmmaker and theorist Nina Menkes takes to the stage in this docu-essay slash movie lecture: a fierce and focused polemic reviving the subject of the “male gaze” for the #MeToo era. Starting with an interview with British critic Laura Mulvey (described by Menkes as the “original gangster” who ...

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