Title

Our Rapists, Ourselves: Women and the Staging of Rape in the Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar

Publication Date

2013

Document Type

Book Chapter

Abstract

This chapter suggests that Pedro Almodóvar's cinematic reflections on rape offer a more nuanced, troubling, and necessary analysis that complicates—even when it's also clearly grappling with—understandings of rape both within Spain and beyond in ways that resist reductive categorizations. Although nearly all of Almodóvar's films deal with rape, including rape between men and child abuse, this chapter focuses primarily upon three emblematic films: ¡Átame!/Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and Kika, in which the act of rape is placed in a contemporaneous specularized media landscape; followed by Hable con ella/Talk to Her, whose critical elaboration of rape invokes an earlier intertextual web composed of a “monstrous feminine” of western cultural fairy tales, myths, tropes, and cinematic representations. Almodóvar offers an alternative dénouement to the specularizations of implied or actual sexual violence against women.

Original Citation

Lev, L. (2013). Our Rapists, Ourselves: Women and the Staging of Rape in the Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar. In M. D’Lugo & K.M. Vernon (Eds.), A Companion to Pedro Almódovar (pp. 203-224). Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons.

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