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Henry P Lee
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I would agree that the sexism is rampant throughout the film. But to think that the film is a valid depiction of a future that men want is wrong. It is a depiction, not a standard. Nor is it celebratory. The sexism, including the holograms, statues, and portrayal of females is awful and disgusting. It's very clearly being shown as a vile place, especially towards women. I would hardly say that the cultural atmosphere in 2049, created by Villeneuve but founded in the original film, is being praised or validated. It presents a grimy, sexist world, and it's trying to show you that our current society is also this way far too often. Villeneuve said himself, when pressed on the movie's treatment of women, that "cinema is a mirror on society. Blade Runner is not about tomorrow; it’s about today. And I’m sorry, but the world is not kind to women." It's also of note that the previous nine films that Villeneuve directed, six of them had females in the lead roles. To disregard the rest of the movie because it is not a champion of women is to lose out on the rest of the film and its beauty. Yes, the world of 2049 is depicting women as disposable—and that is disgusting. But it is not always a negative thing to portray content that is something we may not want to see, or a world we want to avoid. I agree that the film can be taken the wrong way, and should be watched with a keen eye. Viewers should be sure not to think that the extreme sexism is validated. It is ugly, and it's a mirror in which we can see what we DON'T want in the future. Do all films set in the future need to show a wonderful, peaceful world? I would argue that the character played by Robin Wright, Joshi, is underutilized by the film. But you fail to mention her positive role as a decisive leader, even if it should have been more played out. It's not helpful that Deckard's daughter is a feeble, sick woman in a birdcage, but she is also decisive in her actions. She even says, "I take my freedom where I can get it." That's a chilling phrase when compared to the current social climate. Women have to take their freedom where they can get it, and that's not right. But seeing it in a well-made film has helped me think about it more clearly. In essence, this film is more about what it means to be human, and it's from a male character's perspective. We need more films from a females perspective, I agree. But if you can set aside your need to have a female in every lead role then you would find quite a bit more in this film that what you see.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2019 on Time to Die at Critic's Notebook
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Jan 19, 2019