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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Cartel Land

Where Are the Women? Cartel Land

Women appear only briefly, as wives and mothers speaking about how their families are being destroyed, or as an object upon which a man can be lecherous.

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 female character who is sexually manipulated or abused by a male protagonist as a way to advance his story? [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: Even though the drug cartels have a huge impact on everyday life in Mexico, impacting everyone, women appear here only briefly, as wives and mothers speaking out about how their families are being destroyed — sometimes literally, through murder — by the cartels. One other woman is present only as an object upon which one of the anti-cartel vigilante leaders can be lecherous, as a way to illuminate his character. She is not a person in her own right: she is nothing more than a target of male misbehavior, bringing new meaning to the term “object lesson.”


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

Click here for the ranking of 2015’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

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

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
explore:

  • Deepsea5150

    Welcome to the Mexican culture where women are treated poorly

  • Danielm80

    If only a documentary filmmaker had visited the area and interviewed people who lived there, they would have had a perfect opportunity to record those women’s stories.

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