Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

Director: Nina Menkes

Institute History

  • 2022 Sundance Film Festival


Building on her influential cinematic talk, Sex and Power: The Visual Language of Cinema, film director Nina Menkes takes us on an eye-opening journey through the gendered politics of shot design. Using more than 175 film clips from canonical Hollywood favorites and cult classics as well as interviews with filmmakers and scholars, Brainwashed reveals a sinister framework of misogyny and paternalism that, from early cinema to the present day, infiltrates some of our favorite movies.
Brainwashed is a mesmerizing journey that compels the casual moviegoer and cinephile alike to confront how the visual language of cinema is used to disempower women at the most fundamental level, with real-life, tangible consequences including sexual assault and employment discrimination. Renowned for her extraordinary independent film career, Menkes returns to the Sundance Film Festival on a mission to turn the camera around on her own industry and confront the inequalities embedded within each film frame. Featuring powerful interviews with Joey Soloway, Julie Dash, Eliza Hittman, and many more.

Screening Details

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