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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Best of Enemies

Where Are the Women? Best of Enemies

Though the subjects of the film are men in a male-dominated field, the filmmakers include interviews with female authorities to lend us historical context.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of girls/women]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +6

+1
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]
+1
More than one? [why this matters]


+2
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]
+2
More than one? [why this matters]

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: +6

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: Though the two subjects of the documentary are male, and the film is about them at a point in history when their field — the intersection of media and politics — was dominated by men, the filmmakers clearly made an effort to include interviews with two modern media commentators (Ginia Bellafante of The New York Times and Brooke Gladstone of NPR) to interpret for us, from perches of authority, the historical footage we’re watching and what the past has to say to us. There are plenty of men in similar positions the film could have interviewed instead, but didn’t.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Best of Enemies! 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 Best of Enemies.

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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posted in:
where are the women
  • LaSargenta

    NOT the score I was expecting when I clicked! (I haven’t seen it yet. Plan to.) I mean, the main people are men…

    Nice to see, even if I generally can’t give a hoot about anything Ginia Bellafante has to say. I have severe reservations abut her stabs at analysis of anything.

  • Danielm80

    I can’t even hate-read her column. The few times I’ve read it, I said: This opinion has nothing to do with the world I live in.

  • LaSargenta

    You are NOT alone. Nor am I. Not by a LOOOooooOOOOOng shot.

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