The Misandrists (2017)

A group of women’s rights activists liking under the guise of a religious school for girls wants more than just women’s equality and they have unusual methods to reach their goals.

Written and directed by Bruce La Brucec, The Misandrists takes feminism and pushes it much further in a world that has quite a few other major problems. His take here uses sex as a weapon and porn as a tool to communicate. His film makes something seen often in films lately and pushes it to the extreme, subverts it almost to make a point. This point is up to each viewer to figure what they feel from it. Some viewers might see it as a more extreme take on what sometimes needs to be done to be heard, to bring even a lesser point across. La Bruce’s technique and how he approaches the subject is very much his while also being something many can connect with, albeit in a less extreme manner.

The cast here is interesting with Susanne Sachsse as Big Mother, the movement leader. Her look and personality are loud and powerful and her performance keeps all attention on her each time she graces the screen with her presence. Playing Isolde, Kita Updike gives a sweet performance as a bit of the counter-balance to Big Mother. Her character is newer to the group, to the cause, and she’s not as closed off to men as the others. The character of Isolde feels more complex, more layered and Updike plays her with nuances to work through these layers and give the character depth. The ensemble cast on the whole does great work here with each giving definitely good performances even when their situations may be a bit odd or bizarre.

This cast evolves within images created with cinematography by James Carman who gives the main settings of the film a picturesque charm, something that clashes more than a little with the cause and how it’s being approached by the group of ladies while working perfectly well with the story. The film thus looks lovely and gives the actions of these ladies a serious backdrop to work against. The editing by Judy Landkammer takes these images and gives them a nicely old school feel by having them overlap and fade at some scenery changes. This gives the film a certain softness that creates a contract for the rigidity of Big Mother and her group’s goals.

The Misandrists follows a group of ladies looking to bring the patriarchy down by any means necessary, even by making their own pornographic film as a mean to female empowerment and sets them amongst beautifully serene images and soft editing to contrast their harsh stance with something almost feminine in tone. The film takes many questions such as what makes a woman and how must one work to create a change in society and studies them through a varied group of ladies and their more extreme ways of dealing with things. The main question being about equality, is it needed to go to extreme to get it or get the upper hand in the battle of the sexes? The film offers no pre-made judgment on the ladies and their actions but does give an unrestricted view on them, their issues, and their means to an end. The Misandrists will definitely shock some and piss others off while it will make some say “hell yeah” and have more give the central subject some thought, but the potential shock factor, mostly through sex and blood, has a point. It proves that shock can be used to good result or at least to a result when it’s not simply shocking for shock’s sake.