Feminism India

The musings of an honest cinemaphile

“If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.” - Kathryn Bigelow

Over time with an influx of genres and modes of filmmaking coming into the scene, the art of filmmaking and the participants involved in the same have seen a drastic change. We have seen the rise of women getting involved in cinema from early 19th century. 2012 saw Katherine Bigelow win an Oscar beating her ex-husband for a movie on suicide bombers. It saw a huge uproar from media and people across the globe. The media went berserk over a woman making an action drama on the Iraq war based on the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team. But why the uproar? Movie critics across the globe found it very astonishing to see a woman make a movie nuanced with politics, high-octane action and dosed with shades of ‘masculine filmmaking’ techniques. Does the lens which operates on a film change that drastically with your gender binary? Are movie genres categorized as per conventional rules of gender and body politics?

The concept of feminist theory of cinema which put forth the idea of a parallel, counter cinema, is actually saddening. To any movie goer deeply inspired by an art form which I truly believe is the only medium which has the capacity to imbibe elements from all other mediums of art, each frame is a painting, each shot having the power to carry within it music, dance, caricatures etc. Polluting such a medium over real politik and petty myopic visions is disturbing.

It’s not a recent phenomenon to play foul over art forms (especially cinema) regarding political clashes and conventional societal issues. Cinema being one of the most visible art forms gets targeted and manipulated the most. Art over the years has taken the stance for political commentary and social debate. As the norm goes, it too has been used for putting forth wrong ideas and visions. It has somehow grown to be restricted to certain sections. A reason why we still haven’t seen a woman being nominated at the Academy awards for Cinematography! It’s definitely not on account of a dearth in talent. How on earth would it then be possible that the most hyped TV shows of all time, Game of Thrones, is being shot by a woman? Inroads into male-dominated spheres is a sure sight. But the process can only prove fruitful in a situation where the entire process is fuelled by those sources that dominated the same. Sounds utopian, but the best possible idea.

It would be possible to ensure such an egalitarian sphere of art only with enough encouragement being given to all sects to make a mark through quality work. This is not just for the sake of an equally encouraging workspace but for better quality cinema and 70 mm epics!