What are we willing to sacrifice in pursuit of a more perfect society? What constitutes the “perfect” female lead? How does film challenge our different notions of perfection?

Political pursuits towards a better, more perfect society are never simple. Lina Wertmüller’s 1973 film Love and Anarchy exemplifies this idea. Set in 1930’s fascist Italy, it follows Tunin, a young idealistic farmer, as he gets swept up in the resistance. After his friend is killed in attempting to assassinate Benito Mussolini, Tunin decides to take on the job, and spends his days plotting the assassination in a brothel of beautiful but vulgar companions. However, love complicates Tunin’s agenda, and he is caught between sacrificing himself for the cause, or for love. Love and Anarchy asks its viewers to ask themselves to what end do we work towards a better, more perfect society, and what are we okay with sacrificing in pursuit of this end? Love and Anarchy also explores the tricky business of depicting “perfect” women in film. Wertmüller has been criticised by feminists for degrading women in her films and portraying them as little more the objects of the male gaze in her films. Are women in this Love and Anarchy presented as little more than “perfect” love interests and “imperfect” anti-heroes who use their sexuality to further their own goals? Join Science Gallery Dublin in watching Love and Anarchy, and challenge your ideas about politics, problematic portrayals, and perfection.

Dr Jennifer O’Meara, an Assistant Professor in Film Studies at the Trinity College Dublin School of Creative Arts, will introduce the film. Dr O’Meara specializes in digital theory and practice, and her work on performance and stardom focuses on issues of gender and subculture. Dr O’Meara’s current book project, Screening Women’s Voices, combines these areas of interest and examines the reception and representation of women’s voices in contemporary film and digital media. 

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  • Where: Paccar Theatre
  • Price: FREE
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