PRINT Summer 2016


Sophie Mayer’s Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema

Hana Makhmalbaf, Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame, 2007, 35 mm, color, sound, 81 minutes.

Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema, by Sophie Mayer. London: I. B. Tauris, 2016. 272 pages.

THESE DAYS, feminism doesn’t always look or sound the way you think it will. In British film scholar and activist Sophie Mayer’s new book, Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema, fourth-wave feminism is digital, transnational, transsexual, anticolonialist, and multiplatform. It is also occasionally “cisgender,” “Two-Spirit,” and—perhaps most regrettably—“merqueer.” As the aforementioned list suggests, getting with the program might require not only recognizing some unexpected political allegiances but also acquiring some new vocabulary.

Situating her study of feminist cinema in an explicitly post-9/11 context, Mayer addresses changes at the turn of the millennium that have brought about a resurgence of overt structural sexism and violent misogyny worldwide. Indeed, one

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