Love Like Poison (2010) – No Escaping Christ’s Lustful Gaze

Perhaps the most depressing things about the financial crisis is that as banks collapsed, governments groaned and the wheels of global capitalism ground momentarily to a halt, nobody stepped forward with an alternative to the current system. For a moment there, the world might have changed and a new system might have been built but instead of forging a new world, governments took money away from poor people and threw it at the rich in the hope that they would return to doing whatever it is that they were doing before the global economy went tits up. This was a failure of the imagination not only on the part of governments but also on the part of political activists and theorists the world over. As global capitalism teetered, stumbled and nearly fell, Margaret Thatcher was proved right: There Is No Alternative.

The idea that there is simply no viable alternative to market capitalism and (more or less) liberal democracy is the most potent defence of the status quo imaginable. Thanks to thinkers such as Francis Fukuyama arguing that we have reached the end of history, alternatives to neoliberalism are strangled at birth. As citizens of liberal democracies, we have certain political options open to us but none of these options are radical because radical options are not viable alternatives.  And thus we are free and yet everywhere in chains…

Un Poison Violent, the first feature film by Breton director Katell Quillévéré, is an exploration of the nature of female self-determination in a world where men impose their own limits on what is and is not an acceptable mode of being. Whether in Church or a teenaged bedroom, nowhere can women escape the merciless glare of the male gaze.

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