Feminism, feminine discourse and the representation of women in the new Romanian cinema

Doru POP


The main research question of this paper is centered around the the possible connections between the new Romanian cinema and the contemporary feminist theories. Are there any traces of a «women’s cinema» in the «Romanian new wave», is there any ideological link between the changes of narratives and the return of the female protagonists in the contemporary moviemaking and the “first” and “second” waves of feminism? The paper follows three main aspects of this line of thought: the first one is discussing the problems stemming out of the transformations from a patriarchal society, dominated by a “Father-Leader”, towards a society missing a wellestablished center; the second has to do with the changes of narratives and the troubled relationship between the viewer and the subject; while the third questioning comes from the issues of «the look and the gaze», as generating power relations. The author discusses both movies made by female directors, like Ryna (2005) or Felicia înainte de toate (First of All, Felicia, 2009); productions dealing with homosexuality, like Legături bolnăvicioase (Love Sick, 2006); movies about rape 4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, 2007), Katalin Varga (2009); and narratives concerned with power issues like

Cea mai fericită fată din lume (The Happiest Girl in the World, 2009), La source des femmes (The Source, 2011) and Loverboy (2011).

Keywords: Women’s cinema, Representation of female identity, Male gaze, Violence against women, Feminist theories, Rape in movies