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BRAINWASHED: SEX-CAMERA-POWER, based on director Nina Menkes's cinematic presentation, ‘Sex and Power, the Visual Language of Cinema’, uses film clips by A-list directors from 1896 through to the present, to show how sexist shot design contributes to a pervasive environment of sexual harassment and assault, as well as employment discrimination against women, especially in the film industry.

Nina Menkes

Considered a cinematic feminist pioneer and one of America’s foremost independent filmmakers, Menkes has shown widely in major international film festivals including multiple premieres at Sundance, the Berlinale, Cannes (ACID), Rotterdam, Locarno, Toronto, La Cinematheque Francaise, British Film Institute, Whitney Museum of American Art, MOMA in New York, MOCA and LACMA in LA.

Menkes’s honors include a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, an AFI Independent Filmmaker Award, a Creative Capital Award and an International Critic’s Award (FIPRESCI Prize) for the feature documentary Massaker which premiered at the Berlinale in 2005. In 2011, her feature film The Bloody Child (1996) was named one of the most important films of the past 50 years by the Viennale International Film Festival, Austria.

Most recently, Menkes has been touring with her cinematic talk Sex and Power; The Visual Language of Oppression, which was presented at AFI Fest, BFI London, Rotterdam, Cannes, Sundance and is currently being made into a feature documentary, entitled BRAINWASHED, with support from Uncommon Productions, Susan Disney Lord, Abigail Disney and the CalArts Center for New Performance.

Two of Menkes’s early feature films, Queen of Diamonds and The Bloody Child, both starring Tinka Menkes, have been selected for restoration by the Academy Film Archive and Scorsese’s Film Foundation, with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

Menkes holds an MFA in Film Production from UCLA (1989), is a two-time Fulbright Fellow to the Middle East and is a member of the film faculty at California Institute of the Arts. 

  • Year
  • Runtime
    107 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Rating
    A mature audience only (adults)
  • Social Media
  • Director
    Nina Menkes
  • Producer
    Nina Menkes
  • Executive Producer
    Tim Disney, Abigail Disney
  • Cast
    Nina Menkes, Rosanna Arquette, Penelope Spheeris
  • Cinematographer
    Shana Hagan
  • Editor
    Cecily Rhett
  • Composer
    Sharon Farber