Wanda, The Most Horrific Film I’ve Ever Seen, A Review

****WRITTEN, DIRECTED, AND STARS BARBARA LODEN!*********
Music by‎: ‎Dave Mullaney (uncredited)
Distributed by‎: ‎Bardene International Films
Cinematography‎: ‎Nicholas Proferes (uncredite…
Directed by‎: ‎Barbara Loden

This movie should come with a thousand trigger warnings. It is not for the faint of heart, for the women who have been abused, or those who are prone to flashbacks concerning domestic abuse. Some say that is the beauty of the film, the ability to stir such vivid emotions, but reader, it isn’t worth it. It’s taken days for me to recover from this film and write about it. Watch at your own risk.

None of its beauty redeems the horror of the story, but it’s an important story to tell.  Loren plays Wanda and does a horrifically wonderful job acting. Everything felt so real. She evokes every emotion and makes her character so believable; her character could be Everywoman.

Wanda loses her two children and her husband because she wasn’t really cut out to be a mother. She doesn’t seem to be attached but we don’t hear her story. Was her marriage (and her children) forced upon her? When taken to court the soon-to-be-ex-husband complains “even had to change their diapers, and feed them, and put them to sleep. The children need a mother!” Motherfucker, those are your children too. It made me realize, I would have hated to live in any time but now. Thank god men are beginning to realize that children don’t solely belong to women; it is not a woman’s job to clean the baby. In a marriage it is “we” an “our” and “us” so why then, when it comes to children it is “you” “her”and  “she” ? She did try to find work, she worked at a sewing factory, but the boss said she was too slow and fired her, refusing to give her more work.

Destitute, she walks into a bar to use the lavatory and splash some water on her face. The man yells at her and I can’t understand why… until I saw that the real bartender is gagged on the floor behind the bar. She walked into the middle of a robbery. The criminal pours her a beer and gives her snacks, he looks out the window, sees too many people walking by, and decides to kidnap her, making it look like a couple was leaving a bar.

With all the money he takes her to a restaurant, where she shoves her face full of spaghetti. That should have been the end. He should have recognized that that enough was compensation for helping him escape but he doesn’t; he takes her to a hotel and fucks her.

He is vile and vulgar. She makes some sweet small talk, clutching the sheets to her chest, she sees he’s wearing a ring and asks about his wife. He barks: “I don’t like nosey people” (EVEN THOUGH LATER HE SNOOPS THROUGH HER WALLET AND ASKS HER ABOUT HER HUSBAND AND KIDS) and she apologizes and says she was just being friendly “I don’t like friendly people,” he says. She tries to brush his hair and he shakes her “DON’T TOUCH MY HEAD.” (He gets migraines but still…) This isn’t good enough. He can’t intimately fill her body with his own and then reject her; all she asks for after, is for a few kind words, and he refuses. Words cost nothing but kindness and still he is too cheap. He truly is a robber.  Continue reading “Wanda, The Most Horrific Film I’ve Ever Seen, A Review”

Man’s Coming-of-Age, For Girls

Essay written by Claudia Fernandez 

An essay on assumed universality and a brief review of Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird

We are told, as women, that Men means All people. For example when “God created Man in His image” we are supposed to pretend that Man, means Me, and I’m supposed to understand that God is sexless, that He is both She and He, that they mean the same, but they don’t. Womanhood is an afterthought. There are associations with “Woman” and “Her” that don’t FEEL or TRANSLATE in the brain the same as “Man” and “He”.

The problem: literary canon is mostly male: male authors writing about their experiences, their childhoods, their ideologies, their version of truth and value. They create characters from their understanding and write in a way that is sensible and clear, that is, sensible and clear as men define those terms. To be clear is to be “straight to the point”. This isn’t necessary for women; it isn’t necessary to be clear, coherent, rational, and emotionless. It is equally valid to be emotional and cognizant, bright-eyed and optimistic without being ignorant or naive.

The consequence: As a woman, I have to pretend and connect to the little boys and grown men that often play the protagonist in most major novels. We all pretend to be the hero, place ourselves in their shoes and live their story, but does that make me more man? Does not society punish me for behaving like a man? If we follow the virtues and values of the male protagonist, then we simulate male qualities and in turn, become “manly”, which society does not appreciate.

We know the common complaints: a direct woman is a bitch, a sexy woman is a slut, a decisive woman is bossy, a concerned woman is a nag. But a man is just direct, sexy, decisive, and a boss without any of the rest, if he didn’t want to be. There are male allies, and female trans allies, who refuse to accept masculine descriptors as the right to be. .

Continue reading “Man’s Coming-of-Age, For Girls”

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