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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Tangerines

WATWtangerines

Why the complete lack of women in a story about war impinging on civilian life? Does the presence of women “complicate” a “simple” story too much?

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -10

-10
Could the protagonist have been female without significantly impacting the film as a whole? (for a film with a male protagonist) [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: -2

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

There are no women in this movie at all… unless you count the photo of a pretty (adult) granddaughter that is literal set dressing to be commented on a few times by all the men who spy it. Why the filmmaker felt it necessary to underscore the lack of women onscreen is a mystery.

TOTAL SCORE: -12

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: The only reason I can imagine for the complete lack of women in a story about war impinging on civilian life is a notion that the presence of women “complicates” matters in a story that is meant to be about human nature… the neutral sort of human nature that doesn’t include women, that is.


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 Tangerines! 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 Tangerines.

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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  • tootsie burjanadze

    Lady Gaga Enguri wrote a review of this film that bemoans the over masculinity and macho strutting of this fake anti war film also … it’s a good thing the movie was named TANGERINES and not SOUR LEMONS. They grow in the Abkhazia border region with Georgia also. http://ross-mcconnel-shadow.tripod.com/TANGERINES.htm By and large most women in Georgia still today are expected by the men to cook and make babies and restrain from advising their husbands on important matters yet to praise them for their many infidelities. This would be a much more interesting theme for a Georgian movie. One very new flick along these lines is the new one titled THE VILLAGE with a sexy Brit actress who speaks Georgian, at least in 25 percent of her scenes in the movie. It is directed by Levan Tutberidze and stars Crystal Bennett.

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