The ladies of The Misandrists storming a theater.

Depending on whether you stick to what is presented on the surface, or go deeper, that will ultimately decide whether you allow yourself to enjoy The Misandrist. Director(s) Bruce LaBruce Screenplay By Bruce LaBruce Date Released May 25th – Village East Cinema New York City June 1st – Nuart Theatre Los Angeles Genre(s) Comedy, Drama…


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Depending on whether you stick to what is presented on the surface, or go deeper, that will ultimately decide whether you allow yourself to enjoy The Misandrist.


Director(s) Bruce LaBruce
Screenplay By Bruce LaBruce
Date Released May 25th – Village East Cinema New York City

June 1st – Nuart Theatre
Los Angeles

Genre(s) Comedy, Drama
Noted Actors
Gertrude (Big Mother) Susanne Sachsse
Isolde Kita Updike
Volker Til Schindler
Hilde Olivia Kundisch

Summary

In an isolated house in the woods lives 13 women who, with long being tired of patriarchal ideals and oppression, have formed the Female Liberation Army (FLA). A radical feminist group led by a woman named Gertrude, known as Big Mother, who wish to go beyond marches and reconciliation of the sexes. They’re separatist and want their own nation, own world, and while they don’t promote violence, the idea isn’t off the table. But, for the most part, they are lovers more than fighters and Big Mother vehemently supports her 8 girls loving each other and showing no signs of prudish nature.

Something which is a bit of a problem for one of her girls, Isolde. Unlike many of the girls, while she has taken to Big Mother’s feminist manifesto, the reclaiming of sexuality and sexual expression is difficult for her. Especially as a young man, Volker, is discovered by her and a girl who likes Isolde, Hilde. Someone she asks to help her hide the man and with this secret, so, slowly but surely, each girl is revealed unto us as trust becomes of more and more importance. To the point, some face an ultimatum of great strife if they wish to remain in the FLA.

Highlights

There Is Something Beautifully Campy About It

Big Mother and her army.

There is something about this movie which brings to mind the campiness of John Waters and the work of Richard O’Brien. The way it addresses feminist ideas and sexuality can be held in a serious light and explored, just as much as it could be seen as ridiculous and comical. For with every odd sex scene, or Big Mother being unintentionally funny, like when a cop comes looking for Volker, there is hearing about how this girl was raped for years, how this one was a junkie, or another is dealing with issues even Big Mother has a difficulty wrapping her head around. Despite her being the one who recruited her.

On The Fence

It Requires Some Flexibility

By no means does this movie appeal to mainstream sensibility. With explicit sex scenes, eccentric characters, and B-movie acting, you have to enjoy movies that possess this to not end up rolling your eyes at the various antics. And I would definitely say, just for emphasis, if you are conservative in thought of how women should act, about sexuality, or about feminism, this film is absolutely not for you.

You’ll Probably Wish You Got to Hear the Girls Tell Their Stories and Relate Versus a Rundown

The girls having a bit of a slumber party.

In the film, within a ten or so minute span, you get two opportunities to grasp what the cast looks like, their name, and background. The first is when the aforementioned cop comes looking for Volker, and you get a clear shot of every face and a name. This is followed later by getting a blurb about each girl from Isolde and that’s about it.

Which, may lead you to wish the movie gave us more than just that, but considering the tone of the film, it wouldn’t make sense to have. Especially considering Big Mother, as much as she is a revolutionary feminist, she is also the type who has a clear definition of feminism. One which, even considering the generation gap, and the lives these girls have lived, doesn’t have much in the way of flexibility or lend itself to open conversation. After all, similar to Jessica Lange’s character, Elsa, in her last season of American Horror Story, the idea here may not have been to harbor and heal these girls as much as prey and manipulate them. Depending on how you decide to take Big Mother’s kindness.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive)

Big Mother in a nun's uniform.

I’m very torn about how to label this film. On one hand, it does get the wheels turning in your head about how difficult reconciliation of the sexes, or simply empowerment of the female gender, will be. This is alongside, for those who don’t exist within the binary, how they can benefit. Yet, at the same time, in order to get the message, or else the catalyst to deeper thought, you have to get past the superficial.

You have to get past the sex scenes which could either be seen as the women being liberated or to tantalize the audience; you’ll have to take note of the underlying themes which the campy performances could easily distract you from; and, overall, what will be required of you is an understanding that while the filmmakers would, naturally, love a large audience, it isn’t made to appease the comfort that masses are used to.

Which is why this is being labeled as mixed. While, if this website was based simply on what I do or don’t like, this would be labeled positive, as someone who tries to take an advisory role, that leads to the mixed label. For while enjoyable for those who like art house, radical, passion projects without a huge budget, when it comes to those who want sob stories, or something empowering in a more traditional way, this film is not for you. But, with that said, like the noted works of John Waters and Richard O’Brien, The Misandrist is perhaps the perfect film to see can you enjoy, perhaps even handle, indie films which don’t have a commercial tilt.


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