Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

24th TDF: Greek Premiere

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 sexualization 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.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Nina Menkes
Cinematography: Shana Hagan
Editing: Cecily Rhett
Sound: Michael Stern
Music: Sharon Farber
Production: Menkesfilm
Producers: Nina Menkes
Co-producers: Maria Giese, Guo Guo, Summer Xinlei Yang, Sandra de Castro Buffington
Executive producer: Tim Disney, Susan Disney Lord, Abigail Disney
Format: DCP
Color: Color, B/W
Production Country: USA
Production Year: 2022
Duration: 107΄
Contact: Cinephil

Nina Menkes


1983 The Great Sadness of Zohara (short fiction)
1986 Magdalena Viraga (fiction)
1991 Queen of Diamonds (fiction)
1996 The Bloody Child (fiction)
2005 Massacre (co-direction)
2007 Phantom Love (fiction)
2010 Dissolution (fiction)
2022 Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power