RE: end of the International Woman's Day week

From: Eugene Matusov (
Date: Sat Mar 13 2004 - 20:02:11 PST

Dear Mike-

I think your cross-cultural observation is true about many other contents.
Many American movies are out of history, space, and sociocultural conditions
- they are often about individuals... To understand many Russian movies you
have to know historical and socio-cultural conditions but to understand
American (Hollywood) movies you do not to do that.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Cole []
> Sent: Saturday, March 13, 2004 8:01 PM
> To:
> Subject: end of the International Womaen's Day week
> Last evening, to continue our education and reflectiona about herrschaft,
> my wife and I went to see "Osama," an Iranian film about a girl who goes
> through puberty as the Taliban take over in Iran. It was a very painful
> experience, but one we both recommend.
> The ending is not a happy one.
> We got home early. There was an American movie about a girl who is
> assaulted and murdered.
> The aesthetics and cultural contexts were wildly different, the fates of
> the two girls slightly different (the Iranian girl is not killed, but no
> one reading this message will wish to trade places with her or allow
> to dwell too much on it). But the cultural assumptions underlying the
> two stories bear some eery similarities.
> Common, of course, is male violence against females. De facto assumed in
> the American film, de jure/de facto in the Iranian film. The supernatural
> plays an important role in both stories. Ismlamic fundamentalism in one
> psychics in the other. But what most distinguishes the films at the
> ideological level is where responsibility is placed. In the Afghan film,
> responsibility is at the socio-cultural level. There are individual
> and decent men, but overall, the society has condoned/been coerced into
> accepting draconian, generalized, public herrschaft. In the American film
> its a matter of individual personality disorder, as if, an abberation,
> a persistent mother and a psychic overcome, but require men, using their
> strength, to pervail.
> Altogether thought provoking and disturbing. And, although a film, I
> excellent material for theoretical analysis of culture, gender, and
> mike

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