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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Unbroken

WATWunbroken

Set almost entirely among a crew of WWII bombardiers and a prisoner-of-war camp, women are all but absent from this film. And that’s okay.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

0
Does the film take place in a primarily all-male environment (ie, prison, historical military)? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: 0

[no issues]

WILDCARD SCORE: 0

Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

No.

TOTAL SCORE: 0

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? Yes (Angelina Jolie) (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: Set almost entirely among a crew of WWII bombardiers and a prisoner-of-war camp, women are all but absent from this film. (Even the protagonist’s mother, in the brief scenes of his childhood, isn’t really a character in any true sense of the word.) And that’s okay. Calling for women to be better represented on film doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for stories that are all about men.


Click here for the ranking of 2014’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Unbroken! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of Unbroken.

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)


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