Women and Gender in Cypriot Films: (Re) claiming Agency amidst the Discourses of its Negation
Place of publicationNew York and London
SourceCypriot Cinemas: Memory, Conflict, and Identity in the Margins of Europe
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In the sociopolitical space of divided Cyprus the political problem dominates, leaving little space for discussions about the exclusions it produces. The accentuation of existing patriarchal structures and essentialist gender role binarisms by masculinist and heteronormative nationalist discourses is a prevalent phenomenon in Cyprus, as it is in other locales that face analogous ethnonational problems. However, a preliminary glance at filmic spaces suggests that in Cypriot films women assume diverse and significant roles, which both intensify and emasculate predominant discourses. This chapter evaluates gender issues in Cypriot films from the 1960s to the 2010s and examines the possible significance of filmic spaces as areas where alternative constructions of female subjectivity and agency could be negotiated. It examines films based on three categories of female subjectivities and women’s agency—or lack thereof: (a) women as victims of predominant discourses; (b) women as (co) perpetrators of predominant discourses; and (c) women as agents.