• Monday, Sep 24, 2018
  • Last Update : 01:56 am

More women on big screen, but men still tell the stories

  • Published at 08:26 pm September 7th, 2018
Jennifer Kent
Jennifer Kent's 'The Nightingale' is the only film directed by a woman to be in competition at the Venice Film Festival this year AFP

The #MeToo movement set off by the Harvey Weinstein scandal may seem to be bringing breakneck change to the film industry, with Hollywood players queuing up at Venice to pledge themselves to the female cause, but the rhetoric is taking time to filter through to the screen

The Venice film festival, which ends Saturday, is overflowing with films featuring female storylines and meaty parts for women.

Yet all but one of them are directed by men.

The #MeToo movement set off by the Harvey Weinstein scandal may seem to be bringing breakneck change to the film industry, with Hollywood players queuing up at Venice to pledge themselves to the female cause, but the rhetoric is taking time to filter through to the screen.

Only one film out of the 21 in the running for the Golden Lion top prize is by a woman.

With Venice now the launch pad for the Oscars race, the "toxic masculinity" the festival was accused of is no longer acceptable, say critics.

But look closer and more than half of the films in competition either have women leads or female-focused scripts.

From the hilarious historical British comedy "The Favourite" with its no-holds-barred battle between powerful women at the court of Queen Anne, to the indigenous Mexican maids in "Roma", Alfonso Cuaron's beautifully gritty paean to the women who raised him, strong women have dominated the screen in Venice.

Indeed, both films are favourites for the top prize alongside "The Nightingale,” Jennifer Kent's rousing epic about an avenging convict woman in colonial Tasmania.

And men were relegated to bit parts, the playthings of bloodthirsty Berlin witches, in the slick female horror, "Suspiria.”