IDFA Review: Stuntwomen

There’s nothing quite like watching a huge action film on the big screen. One which is full of explosions, gunfire, car chases and fighting. While everything usually looks so slick and stylish, there’s a lot of craft which goes in to choreographing those big moments. To create each set piece, it takes much planning and patience. Not to mention a team of professionals to bring it to fruition. The stuntperson plays a key role in this.

Traditionally, in many ways reflecting the mainstream film industry itself, it has been a male-dominated profession. One which can be highly dangerous. To reach the top, you need years of training and experience. Men have an obvious physical advantage, but being lithe and agile can be equally important. Stuntwomen follows three women on film sets and in training in France and the US as they work towards their goals.

Stuntwomen is an intriguing take on patriarchal society through the stories we tell and the gendered roles we play. In the end, men are usually perpetrators and women the victims. Reliving real life experiences on screen. Elena Avdija’s documentary takes a thoughtful approach to the subject, becoming increasingly disturbing as it progresses. Stuntwomen is a damning indictment of the misogyny that pervades every aspect of modern life.  

Stuntwomen screens at IDFA.

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