Lecture | Girls with Guns. Radical feminist fantasies of empowerment?

Lecture by Julia Reifenberger
Girls with Guns. Radical feminist fantasies of empowerment?

In no other subgenre than in the rape&revenge film from the 70’s has the often conjured battle of the sexes been staged more varied and has been depicted more uncoded and violently. The rape of a woman provides the narrative core. It is certain that the committed act drops back to the perpetrator in form of revenge executed in cold blood. Based on this compression of sexualized violence, counter-violence and female revolt, cultural scientist and film scholar Julia Reifenberger will build on current productions and cast a glance on historical lines of development. It will become clear that rape&revenge films are not necessarily exploitative or aim at sensational curiosity and cheap thrills. Just as in Bergman’s The Virgin Spring (1960), rape&revenge-elements are also to be found in Virginie Despentes’ Rape Me (2000) and Gaspar Noé’s Irreversible (2003).
By reference to examples from films, Reifenberger will enquire about the feminist potential of the genre, and talk about implications of gender politics and the transition of revenge campaigns. While in the early days, vengeance resided within the male family members of the victim, it later evolves from the individual empowerment of the victim. Brutally but sensually, it executes revenge itself. For several years, this revenge is told compulsory as counter-rape that takes away the male and privileged identity from the tormentor.

Following the lecture:

Ms. 45

(USA 1981, D: Abel Ferrara, A: Zoe Tamerlis Lund, Jack Thibeau, Peter Yellen, 81’, German version, 35mm)

On one and the same day, the mute woman Thana is raped twice. Her second tormentor does not survive his infamous action. Chopped up to small pieces, he initially ends up in the fridge, and after that in New York City’s garbage cans. The finding of his .45 colt is the start of tidying up rigorously. Thana gets even with male monstrosity. Early deceased Zoe Tamerlis Lund strikes up furiously.

26 April, 8 pm – UT Connewitz

Lecture and film: 8/6 (red.) euros