Official Trailer for ‘Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power’ in Cinema Doc
by Alex Billington
September 28, 2022
“If the camera is predatory, then the culture is predatory as well.” Kino Lorber has unveiled the official trailer for a documentary film titled Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, which originally premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. After playing at a festivals around the world, it’s ready to open in theaters this October. The film investigates the politics of cinematic shot design, and how this meta-level of filmmaking intersects with the on-going twin epidemics of sexual abuse/assault and employment discrimination against women. It’s a deep-dive into patriarchal power, and how it even seeps into every last shot in cinema. Featuring over 175 movie clips from 1896 to 2020. The film also features interviews with an all-star cast of women and non-binary industry professionals discussing all of this, including: Julie Dash, Penelope Spheeris, Charlyne Yi, Joey Soloway, Catherine Hardwicke, Eliza Hittman, Rosanna Arquette. The result is an electrifying call-to-action that will fundamentally change the way you see – and watch – movies.
Here’s the trailer (+ poster) for Nina Menkes’ doc Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, from YouTube:
“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 & love–from Metropolis to Vertigo to Phantom Thread–she convincingly makes the argument that shot design is gendered. Menkes’ new film Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power illuminates the patriarchal narrative codes that hide within supposedly “classic” set-ups & 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 within the film industry.
Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power is directed by acclaimed American producer / filmmaker Nina Menkes, director of the films doc films Magdalena Viraga and Massacre previously, along with Queen of Diamonds, The Bloody Child, and Phantom Love. It’s also produced by Nina Menkes. Executive produced by Abigail Disney, Tim Disney, & Susan Disney Lord. This first premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and it also played at the Frameline Film Festival. Kino Lorber debuts Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power in select US theaters starting October 21st, 2022 this fall. For more info visit the film’s official site.