Bojana Babic abstract

Abstract

The thesis analyzes the character of a “girl” in Dušan Makavejev’s film W.R. Mysteries of the Organism (1971) and Maja Miloš’ Clip (2012) in order to understand how the construct of early female sexuality is used to challenge traditional ideas about femininity and masculinity in Yugoslav and ex-Yugoslav film. The two chosen films offer two opposing approaches to character of girl - one that is active, rebellious, and second that is passive, submissive, in order to show the emancipatory process and rite de passage of female characters. Both films openly question the persistence of the rigid definitions of male and female roles in society, within their respective, socialist and democratic realities.

The thesis strategically examines gender and sexuality motifs in two film narratives and proposes a Foucauldian approach to analyzing gender in Yugoslav and ex-Yugoslav film. Rather than arguing that power is a one-sided relation that comes from above to suppress, focus on the resistance that comes from below shows how it influences and changes power. Rather than focusing on the construct of “girl” that serves the underlying patriarchal narratives, I examine the deconstructions of girl characters in order to understand how they were used to challenge dominant gender imageries in Yugoslav and ex-Yugoslav cinema.

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