Is there a female character with significant screen time who grows, changes, and/or learns something over the course of the story? (for an ensemble cast, or a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]
Is there a female character (either a protagonist or a supporting character with significant screen time) in a position of authority (politics, law, medicine, etc.)? [why this matters]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE:0
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: A female journalist (Melanie Gouby) doing a dangerous job accounts for the positive score, though she is the only woman who appears onscreen in any meaningful capacity. It may actually be legitimate, however, that no other women could have been a significant contributor to the story being told.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Virunga! 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 Virunga.