Is it a good thing to demand a female director?
Mikael Persbrandt, known for an international audience from the Oscar winning In a Better World, was interviewed in the Swedish newspapers this morning regarding a new Swedish action movie which will open on Friday.
The director is the Danish Kathrine Windfeld and her gender gets a bit of attention, which is natural. Not only is she a woman in a profession that still is dominated by men (only seven percent of the Hollywood productions are directed by women.) She’s also making an action movie, where the women are few an far between. There’s Kathrin Bigelow of course, but there isn’t an abundance of them.
So far, so good. I’m the first one to think that the film industry would do wise to try to include more women in the film production.
But Mikael Persbrandt goes a bit further than just acknowledging that the director is a woman. He says that it even was a condition for him to make the movie in the first place. If it had been a male director he probably wouldn’t have made it. He wanted a “woman who wouldn’t mainly be interested in the killing, but of the interpersonal”.
I know he probably has the best of intentions with this statement, but the more I think of it, the more does it bother me. I don’t know what annoys me most. Is it that women can’t make a traditional action movie with a lot of killing, since it somewhere is against their nature? Or is it that men are incapable of capturing the interpersonal aspects, since they’re mostly interested in killing?
I wouldn’t call this feminism. I think this is a case of classical stereotyping and even if it’s for a good cause, it makes me cringe. I cringe as much as I would have cringed if someone demanded a male director to make a movie where there was a lot of killing, since women probably would be more into the interpersonal.
Can’t we just get rid of those old ideas about male vs female once for all?