Gender, Nationalism and War: Conflict on the Movie Screen

TitleGender, Nationalism and War: Conflict on the Movie Screen
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsEvangelista, Matthew
Number of Pages289
PublisherCambridge University Press
CityNew York

Virginia Woolf famously wrote 'as a woman I have no country', suggesting that women had little stake in defending countries where they are considered second-class citizens, and should instead be forces for peace. Yet women have been perpetrators as well as victims of violence in nationalist conflicts. This book generates insights into the role of gender in nationalist violence by examining feature films from a range of conflict zones. In “The Battle of Algiers”, female bombers destroy civilians while men dress in women's clothes to prevent the French army from capturing and torturing them. “Prisoner of the Mountains” shows a Chechen girl falling in love with her Russian captive as his mother tries to rescue him. Providing historical and political context to these and other films, the author of this volume identifies the key role that economic decline plays in threatening masculine identity and provoking the misogynist violence that often accompanies nationalist wars. 

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