Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

Nina Menkes, USA 2022, 107’
Phantom Love

Using tantalizing film excerpts, independent director and academic Nina Menkes explains clearly how basic film techniques objectify women on screen and what the consequences are for women's work in the film industry and their safety in general. Subject/object positions, framing, camera movements, lighting, narrative – the workshop analysis concludes that regardless of whether it is a classic from several decades ago (The Lady from Shanghai, Rear Window, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) or a contemporary film (Blade Runner 2049, Adela, Wonder Woman) – even those directed by a woman! – the ABC of film language invariably reproduces the patriarchal vision of the world of women and men. Brainwashed... includes commentary by other directors, experts and equality activists from the film industry (Geena Davis, Maria Giese, Joey Soloway, Ita O’Brien). Menkes walks with these thoughts around Cannes and in front of the big screen of the lecture hall. Her silhouette and commentary shatter the intimacy of scenes dominated by a man's gaze. The connoisseurs of her work claim that she has found a way to speak to us in another language.

Discussion panel: Is the other gaze possible?

10.11, 17:15 KNH6
after the screening
(in Polish only)

Monika Talarczyk

Nina Menkes

Nina Menkes is an avant-garde American filmmaker who graduated with a degree in film from the University of California w Los Angeles. She has lectured at University of Southern California, California Institute of the Arts, Tel Aviv University and the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. Her oeuvre includes eight films that she wrote, directed, and produced and, for many years, her sister Tinka Menkes, was her leading actress, muse and closest associate. Menkes’s films have screened at festivals in Berlin, Sundance, Rotterdam, Locarno as well as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the New York Museum of Modern Art.


1983 Wielki smutek Zohary / The Great Sadness of Zohara (short)

1986 Magdalena Viraga

1991 Królowa diamentów / Queen of Diamonds

1996 Krwawe dziecię / The Bloody Child

2000 The Crazy Bloody Female Center

2005 Masakra / Massaker / Massacre (co-dir.)

2007 Miłość fantomowa / Phantom Love

2012 Rozpad / Hitparkut / Dissolution

2022 Brainwashed: seks, kamera, władza / Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Nina Menkes
screenplay Nina Menkes
cinematography Shana Hagan
editing Cecily Rhett
music Sharon Farber
cast Nina Menkes, Rhiannon Aarons, Kathleen Antonia, Rosanna Arquette, Lara Dale, Julie Dash, Eliza Hittman, Laura Mulvey i in./and others
producer Nina Menkes, Sandra de Castro Buffington, Maria Giese, Guo Guo, Summer Xinlei Yang
production Menkesfilm
Polish distributor Stowarzyszenie Nowe Horyzonty
language English
coloration colour
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