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Visions of Struggle in Women's Filmmaking in the Mediterranean

Overview

This provocative collection elaborates a trans-cultural definition of being a woman in struggle. Looking at the films of women directors in countries in the Mediterranean rim, this book spurs a contemporary discussion of women’s human, civil, and social rights while situating feminist arguments on women’s identity, roles, psychology and sexuality. Although their methodologies are diverse, these artists are united in their use of cinema as a means of intervention, taking on the role as outspoken and leading ...

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Overview

This provocative collection elaborates a trans-cultural definition of being a woman in struggle. Looking at the films of women directors in countries in the Mediterranean rim, this book spurs a contemporary discussion of women’s human, civil, and social rights while situating feminist arguments on women’s identity, roles, psychology and sexuality. Although their methodologies are diverse, these artists are united in their use of cinema as a means of intervention, taking on the role as outspoken and leading advocates for women’s problems. Contributors examine the ways in which cinematic art reproduces and structures the discourses of realism and represents Mediterranean women’s collective experience of struggle. 

 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Visions of Struggle leaves the reader with a revealing and nuanced account of the very struggle to be a self; of the performativity, that is, of the gendered self, as it transpires within the fraught contexts of modernity which continue to include an extraordinary range of 'ordinary' forms of sexist and nationalist violence."—Jourbanal of Contemporary European Studies

"Visions of Struggle is a unique collection which provides an excellent example of comparative feminist praxis whilst stimulating critical debate around women's filmmaking, the political, social, cultural and industrial contexts within which women's films are produced, and the films' representations of women's issues . . . It contributes significantly to the documentation of women's cinemas and to the conceptualization of two sets of practices – feminism and film – within the context of a vast array of cinematic production ‘far beyond Hollywood, both geographically and metaphorically.'"—Screen

"The collections of essays in Visions of Struggle offers an accessible selection of feminist critical work on film and the cross-cultural production of knowledge advocated by Chandra Mohanty in her introduction."—New Cinema

"An interesting and well-conceived volume."—Italica

"While it takes into account a variety of different experiences, Visions of Struggle, as Laviosa specifies, is an 'open text that can be entered from different points, and pursued through different paths.' The book, which is an unmediated work on women's common narratives, urges its reader to ask questions through the medium of cinema rather than proposing a definite result of all these problems. In this sense, it is a key to understanding and evaluating the different traumatic experiences, and women's coping mechanisms with a new perspective."-Sinecine

"Visions of Struggle in Women's Filmmaking in the Mediterranean functions as an important and valuable resource for the interdisciplinary fields of cinema, women's, and Mediterranean studies. Highly recommended for students and scholars interested in the national and transnational negotiations of women's identities and rights in this region of the world, these essays prove provocative and insightful, and will surely inspire new directions for future research."—Annali di Italianistica

Visions of Struggle engages with long-standing feminist issues in new ways. Moving around the Mediterranean basin, together these essays form a multi-colored patchwork that encompasses documentary, feature-length fiction, and hybrid, experimental film. In their essays, the ten contributors explore the ways the region’s female inhabitants experience, confront, and counter terrorism, abuse, forced marriage, sex trafficking, honor killings, and war. A critical assessment not only of female vulnerability in the twenty-first century but also of resilience, creativity, and strength, Visions of Struggle provides a sorely needed and eminently strategic update to questions facing both women and film.”— Chris Holmlund, Chair, Cinema Studies Program and Professor, Cinema Studies, Women’s Studies, and French, University of Tennessee

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230617360
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/15/2010
  • Series: Comparative Feminist Studies Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Flavia Laviosa is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies at Wellesley College. Her articles, in English and Italian, have appeared in California Italian Studies, Mediterranean Studies, Studies in European Cinema, Italica, Rivista di Studi Italiani, Kinema, American Jourbanal of Italian Studies, College Board-Special Focus, Rivista Italiana di Linguistica Applicata, and Italian Politics and Society. Her publications include essays in the edited collections Cinema and Culture in Twentieth Century Italy. (Ri)narrare il Meridione, Watching Pages, Reading Pictures, Italian Cinema-New Directions, Teaching Italian Culture, La Scuola Italiana di Middlebury, and Incontri con il Cinema Italiano. She is also on the international editorial board of Sine/Cine: The Jourbanal of Cinema Research.

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Table of Contents

Preface—Laura Mulvey
• Introduction—Flavia Laviosa
• Veiling and Unveiling the Israeli Mediterranean: Yulie Cohen-Gerstel’s My Terrorist and My Land Zion—Yosefa Loshitzky
• The Wiles of Maghrebi Women’s Cinema—Florence Martin
• Visions and Voices of the Self in Take My Eyes—Mónica Cantero
• Mutilating and Mutilated Bodies: Women’s Takes on “Extreme” French Cinema—Carrie Tarr * Anthropological Anxieties: Roberta Torre’s Critique of Mafia Violence—Áine O’Healy
• Vertigo in the Balkans: Karin Jurschick’s The Peacekeepers and the Women—Marguerite Waller
• Maria, Irene, and Olga "à la recherche du temps perdu…"—Maria Paradeisi * Hard to Bear: Women’s Burdens in the Cinema of Yesim Ustaoglu—S. Ruken Öztürk
• Filming Defeat in the Arabic Idiom: Poetry, Cinema and the Saving Grace of Hala Al-Abdallah—Rasha Salti
• "Death is the fairest cover for her shame": Framing Honor Killings—Flavia Laviosa

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