Rose McGowan’s directorial debut “Dawn” got realeased on YouTube, as Black Dog Films had already announced earlier last month. The critically-acclaimed short film explores female desire in a beautiful dark way.
The short film “Dawn” by director and actress Rose McGowan (“Planet Terror”, “Charmed”) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and had a big critical success. After a limited theatrical run it is now available to stream on YouTube – do you love it as much as I do? But first things first.
“Dawn” tells the story of a tennager by the same name who lived during the Kennedy-era. Because of this time and the strict upbringing by her parents she apparently suffers from pent-up sexual frustrations. Finally she has the heart to invite her school crush and his friends into her very sheltered world. From this moment on you notice a tension rising up in the air that maybe the well behaved football player and his clique aren’t as nice as they pretend to be.
The movie shows splendidly the situation of women in the 60s. On one hand you have to behave and you can not live out your sexuality the way that men do. On the other hand you want to be free of all these restrictions. In the case of Dawn the result is, that without the expierence of knowing other people, she never learned who to trust and who not to trust. And without that expierence of following your desires you can easily become a victim of predators.
For me the short film is a 17-minute-semi-masterpiece. It shows women not as sexual objects but as sexual subjects which is a rarity in contemporary cinema. We can see not-one-dimensional female characters such as “The Wife” or “The Whore” but multilayered ones who have obviously a stronger impact. Probably for this breaking the stereotypes the film got an Oscar-qualifying run in Los Angeles later this year. Although the Oscar committee consists mostly of men and Hollywood generally is contaminated with sexism, this movie can not be ignored. Here is the reason why:
I followed McGowan’s career a long time and every day it amazes me more what this woman can accomplish. Every day she fights for equality for women in- and outside the film industry. And that comes very natural to her. She grew up as the daughter as an artist and now she is engaged to one as well. You can tell that when she was growing up, she was surrounded by intellectuals and lived in an evironment where gender wasn’t an issue. Then when you enter the sexist world of Hollywood of course this dynamic changes. But there are solutions to that as well. Like she showed in the speech that was delivered on April 21 to the “Sisterhood of Traveling Producers” where she gave seven tips for fighting sexism in the movie business, which apply for everyday life, like:
“If you know certain directors (men) behave reprehensibly, fight against their hire and offer up alternatives. BE BOLD. If someone is a known dickhead, stop their hire. If they are misogynists, stop their hire. These are not the people we need to reward. Stand up and stop perpetuating the cycle. We are responsible. Stop protecting evil. We didn’t join the Mafia when we joined this business. We owe no one our vow of silence.”
Women are equally talented as men and it is (about) time to acknowledge that, no matter how many old-fashioned, misogynist men say otherwise. Every intelligent and creative woman and man can put a stop to sexism. Rose McGowan has shown us how.