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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Captive

Where Are the Women? Captive

There’s a female coprotagonist, her primary concerns are not about babies or romance, and she doesn’t get naked or have to be sexy. It could be worse.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +10

+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]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +2

+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]

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: 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: +7

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: There’s a female coprotagonist, her primary concerns are not about babies or romance, and she doesn’t get naked or have to be sexy. The film is about her being kidnapped, but this isn’t done to motivate a man, and she is definitely not a victim but a human being with agency who has to think her way out of a tough situation. It could be worse.


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

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

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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