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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Pawn Sacrifice

Pawn Sacrifice green light

Apart from very brief appearances by the male protagonist’s mother and sister and the prostitute he patronizes, women are all but absent from this film.

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: -20

-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]


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


-10
Is there a hooker with a heart of gold? [why this matters]

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: -20

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: Apart from very brief appearances by the male protagonist’s mother and sister and the prostitute he patronizes, women are all but absent from this film, unless a few adoring anonymous female fans count (they don’t). At least the hooker isn’t nude.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Pawn Sacrifice! 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.) See my rating of Pawn Sacrifice.

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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