‘Brainwashed’ Director Rails Against Hollywood Misogyny: ‘The World Is Still in the Dark Ages’

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Nina Menkes addresses critics of her new documentary and why people have a need to defend how movies have historically filmed women

nina menkes brainwashed sundance institute
Director Nina Menkes in "Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power." (Sundance Institute)

Independent filmmaker Nina Menkes can hardly believe that her new documentary “Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power” about the gendered politics of shot design is causing a stir.

The film is being released in theaters starting Friday via Kino Lorber at the Laemmle in the Los Angeles area and at DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema in New York City, with a national rollout to follow.

“We’ve had a lot of rave reviews, but we’ve also been attacked and it’s unbelievable to me that women would attack this film,” Menkes, who also teaches film production at California Institute of the Arts, told The Wrap. “It’s just like the whole way of cinema being based on these kinds of beautiful, fragmented female bodies seems to be like something people are dying to defend.