Sex, Lies & Gaffer Tape

by Toby Woollaston

MacbethIn my previous Witchdoctor article, I examined some of the year’s films that have told stories of a racist America and postulated that perhaps 2017 has signalled a shift in whose stories are being told in cinema. Here, I will expand on that to examine sexuality and gender, a touchy topic fraught with pitfalls and a multitude of differing opinions. Thankfully, we have cinema to place us in unimaginable situations and align us with people we never thought we’d have so much empathy for.

Take a look at some of the protagonists that have graced our screens this year: a black youth in the gang-lands of Florida (Moonlight), a young farmer in the mud and filth of a Yorkshire farm (God’s Own Country), three Palestinian flatmates in Tel Aviv (In Between), and a 19-century woman stifled by her loveless marriage (Lady Macbeth) – all protagonists from vastly different settings who struggle to come to terms with their sexuality and gendered roles. The ability of cinema to open up our ‘empathetic glands’ is a testament to its persuasive power and consciously or not, every film displays a stance on sexuality through the very representation of their characters.

What follows is a brief examination of two of the above releases that have willfully examined women’s agency within a male-dominated society.

See the rest of my rant here on the Witchdoctor website.