Sundance 2022: <I>Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power</I>
February 18, 2022

Sundance 2022: Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

PARK CITY, UT — The feature Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power builds on director Nina Menkes’ cinematic talk, “Sex and Power: The Visual Language of Cinema,” taking the audience on an eye-opening journey through the gendered politics of cinematic shot design. Using more than 175 film clips from canonical Hollywood favorites and cult classics, as well as interviews with filmmakers and scholars, Brainwashed reveals a sinister framework of misogyny and paternalism that, from early cinema to the present day, infiltrates many favorite movies.

The film was edited by Cecily Rhett, who says one of the biggest challenges was turning Nina Menkes’ talk into a movie. 

“The talk goes through film history chronologically, but I wanted the film to be constructed thematically,” Rhett explains. “I also wanted to create an emotional structure for the movie that alternated dark and light, and then pulled you down, down, down, until we release you slowly into the ending.”

Rhett says she used Adobe Premiere, “because that’s what our amazing post supervisor Jim Rosenthal had started using to amass film clips before I came on board. Premiere is very nimble with acquisition, and with over 175 film clips in the movie, we needed to be able to work with all different kinds of formats quickly.”

Interviews with Joey Soloway, Julie Dash, Eliza Hittman, and many others, are all included in the final edit.