Despite the subject of domestic abuse becoming increasingly common as a component of TV shows, especially in soap dramas on British television, it rarely features as central to the narrative. However, in the new American show Big Little Lies (based on Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name), it is integral to the plot. Through an in-depth study of physical and emotional abuse between two characters, played by big-budget film stars Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård, the show targets a range of issues apparent in abusive relationships rarely explored to this extent on TV screens.
I wanted to write an article on the ‘recent revelation’ of Bernardo Bertolucci and Marlon Brando’s treatment of Maria Schneider on the set of Last Tango in Paris (1972). Despite Schneider discussing her experience in 2007, why is it only now being acknowledged by the media as a case of sexual abuse? It’s upsetting proof of how 21st century Hollywood is plagued by rape culture, permeating all levels of the industry.
Whilst studying Indian Melodrama this term, I’ve been watching a selection of Hindi films as research for my forthcoming essay and came across Shoojit Sincar’s gem of a movie on Netflix. Providing audiences with a refreshing perspective on female characters in the form of eponymous lead Piku, it’s both a genuinely funny comedy and a powerful example of feminist cinema.
Contains a few spoilers!
Tate Taylor’s filmic adaptation of Paula Hawkin’s psychological thriller The Girl on the Train fails to translate the importance of the novel’s domestic violence narrative, missing a vital opportunity to confront issues of abuse on the big screen.
Imogen and I recently attended the London Feminist Film Festival’s session on Women’s Bodies as Sites at Rio Cinema; a screening of four documentary shorts regarding the role and perception of women’s bodies in film and other forms of media, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. The experience was really insightful and moving: in particular What Happened to Her (Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, 2016), which provided an important platform amongst the audience for interrogating the repercussions of violence against women on screen.