When I was a student in film school, my writings always focused around my personal experiences. My professors suggested I get out of my comfort zone. Write something with no creative restrictions. I sucked up all the anxiety, and boom! I created a story of a girl gang of assassins whose job is to kill abusive husbands. From an early age, I always felt interested in girls’ coming of age stories, especially when the girls came from a different background from myself. Growing up in the fifth largest city in the United States with the unique opportunity to attend an all girls high school, my perspective on how women actually interact which is a direct counter from how most forms of media depict female dynamics. My life has been shaped by the strong women. My short is a thank you to all of them.
The Sirens is a response to the many subliminal messages that women should not stand up to men. My studies in film school focused greatly on this genre of films in college, especially Quentin Tarantino and the rise of comic book films, I found that the women characters lacked depth, lines of dialogue suggesting submissiveness, and messages to women on how they “should” be. Personally, I’m sick of watching these films defining strong female leads. Films like Kill Bill, although it is cinematically beautiful, has tons of subtext surrounding rape and abuse. Harvey Weinsten was the executive producer after all. People love Kill Bill, but why? Why do we as a culture have to love a film that underlines women pitting against each other for the love of a toxic man? I want The Sirens to have a cult following much like Charlie’s Angels or the Powerpuff Girls with the aesthetics of Ghostworld and Death Proof. Much like assassin movies prior, I plan on using wide frames with 50-85mm lens. I would love the color palette to be vivid within dark settings.
As a novice filmmaker, I present these toxic behaviors to engage in a conversation on how as a society can we stop glorifying these traits. This film sheds a light on how this generation of women view domestic violence and abusive behavior in relationships. Tons of films show the depiction of slapping a woman or harming a woman without understand that showing those actions with justification enables the behavior. Creating a film is creating a fantasy. When you look into a filmmaker’s visions of fantasy and see abusive behavior, it sends the message that it is okay to act this way. The Sirens are here to tell everyone it is NOT. It is not okay to be violent towards ANYONE, especially someone who partakes in a romantic relationship with you. The Sirens is a retaliation film against an abusive male gaze. Although there is violence in the film, the girls do not encourage others to be like them. Each one fights an internal battle regarding their relationship with men. It is important that The Sirens show their young female audience what is not okay in a relationship. As a director, I hope that the audience will make an effort after watching the film to bring awareness to helping victims and abusers. Abusers need help, too!
I expects there to be a strong emotional impact from the audience. The girl gang dynamic will make people laugh like they are with their own friends. If people cry, they empathize with the excruciating pain caused by violence. My hopes for the audience’s response is to become aware of how great of an issue domestic violence is and how it effects everyone. This is not just a woman’s issues. The filmmaker encourages the men/boys in the audience to become aware of this toxic behavior and finds way to bring awareness to it from their perspective. As the writer and director, I encourage awareness and forgiveness–to a degree, because situations vary– for abusers. The issue cannot be solved by winded debate but psychological understanding leading to living and depicting healthy relationships.
Check out the link below to get a better understanding of the image!