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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Sisterhood of Night

Where Are the Women? The Sisterhood of Night

The female ensemble endure teen problems that have nothing to do with romance or fashion, and everything to do with the ways that girls interact.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +12

+10
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]
+2
Is she nonwhite? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +10

+10
Is there a female villain or antagonist? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5

-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children? [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)

An ensemble rather than one primary protagonist often means that most characters get short shrift, but the members of the mostly female ensemble here are sharply sketched and very distinctive, offering a shrewd landscape of various anguishes of female adolescence.

TOTAL SCORE: +22

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? Yes (Caryn Waechter) (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes (Marilyn Fu) (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: The mostly female ensemble here are enduring a variety of teenaged problems that have nothing to do with romance or fashion, and everything to do with the specific ways that girls interact with one another. Even the traditional teen worry about popularity is treated with far more psychological sensitivity and insight than the standard teen movie.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Sisterhood of Night! 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 The Sisterhood of Night.

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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where are the women

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