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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are The Women? Timbuktu

WATWtimbuktu

Even in the worst circumstances for women, rebellion exists. Alas that this movie has rebellious women only on its periphery.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of girls/women]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5

-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]


-10
Does a man police or attempt to police a woman’s sexual agency? [why this matters]
+10
Is he rebuked for it, either directly (by a character onscreen) or indirectly (by how it is depicted)? [why this matters]

WILDCARD SCORE: +5

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

They aren’t significant characters, but several women bravely defy the ridiculous demands of the jihadis imposing Sharia law, telling them off right to their faces.

TOTAL SCORE: 0

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

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes, one of two credited (Kessen Tall) (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: Life under Sharia law is not a place where women tend to thrive, but even in the most constraining of circumstances, rebellion exists. Alas that this movie has rebellious women only on its periphery.


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 Timbuktu! 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.) My review of Timbuktu is coming soon.

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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