A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

Being a woman is something to be proud of, but automatically puts you on the back foot, from birth. There are certain societal expectations that are placed on the female, that a man would never have to endure. You’re seen as weaker, expected to be delicate, sweeter; have biological predisposition to be maternal, want marriage – hell always have to choose the pink one instead of the blue one, and just be the ‘fairer’ sex.

An opinionated, independent thinker, who treats babies like a plague, thinks marriage is a dated concept, is not the kind of girl people want to understand or want to be around. I know this first hand. You’re accused of being angry, contrary, ‘too PC’, or (my personal favourite) a feminazi, for questioning the status quo, and standing up for what you believe in.

Feminism is a dirty word, and I am proud to swear like a drunk sailor on shore leave.

Sure we got the vote, but we had to fight and beg for it, and women died and were horrifically abused in the process of that fight. We are questioned about our sexual proclivities when we are rape victims trying to get justice, while our attackers are only questioned about the relevancy of the case. Actresses are judged on their private lives or dress sense instead of their body of work, while men are judged on their talent. We earn less, we are penalised for having children by our employers, yet judged as lazy if we don’t work and stay at home to raise our families.

We are slut shamed by the media if we like to wear revealing clothing, or enjoy multiple meaningless sexual partners, when men are given free rein to spread their seed and be hailed as ‘jack the lads’ as much as they want, without so much as a backward glance. The hypocrisy is astounding, and yet, our Western world struggles are nothing compared to those of women in the Middle East, in Uganda, the Congo, or anywhere that being a woman is not just a struggle, but it is a war.
Caitlyn Jenner made her début as a woman this week with a stunning Vanity Fair cover, a brave and inspirational move for the transition from Male to Female; but no sooner than the congratulations and obligatory bigotry was fading, she became truly a woman when she was immediately scrutinised on her clothing choices, her looks (the dame is damn bombshell for any age in my opinion), and turned into a sex object by those faceless keyboard warriors.

Becoming a woman is about transitioning more than genetics, but adjusting to the attitudes, your new role in the world, and how the world views you, which is obviously going to be much harder for a beautiful woman such as Caitlyn.
A Girl Walks Alone at Night is a vampire tale for the modern age. The brilliant Sheila Vand plays our undead anti-hero, stalking the streets to meet out her own brand of justice on men who mistreat women; kicking ass and taking names in a culture that is considered oppressive against the female gender. From the bullying, arrogant pimp, to the perverted old man with a drug addiction, The Girl sweeps through the fictional Bad Town like a mesmerising murderess, righting the wrongs she sees and drinking her bloody fill, until Arash, looking like he’s stepped out of a James Dean film, enters stage left, his life and The Girl’s intertwining and forming an unlikely bond.
This is a cinematic gem, in a sea of pebbles. Black and white, pure noire, reminiscent of graphic novels and the best retro drive in movies. Both slick and unpolished all at once, AGWHAN is a feminist masterpiece, symbolising the political and cultural undercurrents, and just happening to feature a vampire.
The soundtrack is so much an integral part of the film that it is almost a musical. Rhythmic and slow, then jumping to new wave punk, there is comedy and horror, drama and romance; while the entire time you’re watching, you feel like you are witnessing something very important. The film is a love letter – both to the past and the future; an homage to the retro simplicity of celluloid gone by, and hope for the future, that repressed women everywhere, can find the strength to fight back.

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