This year, the Seoul International Women’s Film Festival features Korea’s first retrospective on Monika TREUT, a German experimental filmmaker and pioneer of queer cinema who has been boldly exploring radical social and aesthetic issues since the 1980’s. After making her directorial debut with Seduction: A Cruel Woman, a film which draws attention to the portrayal of women in the works of SADE and SACHER-MASOCH, TREUT has been renowned as one of the most active filmmakers expanding the boundaries of queer cinema. In particular, she has received wide recognition for introducing transgressive female characters who dare to display unconventional desires. Instead of creating stable and coherent identities, TREUT has shown diverse and radical sexual practices and built narratives of resistance around the “wrong-doings” of her characters. Her works emphasize that sexual practices are not simply about fulfilling desire but also about building relationships with others. This is the reason why she has been focusing mainly on the encounters between those with different racial, national, and cultural backgrounds, and moreover her films were shot in various locations outside of Germany. Virgin Machine (1988) and My Father Is Coming (1989) are good examples as both of them follow a German character visiting the United States, who ends up taking part in sexual practices as a means of liberation after encountering a different culture. In the 2000’s, TREUT continued to broaden her horizons by making more interesting films including Gendernauts (2000), about transgender people in San Francisco, USA; Warrior of Light, (2001) about an activist who tries to help street children in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Tigerwomen Grow Wings (2005), which captures the reactions of different generations of women facing a new political situation in Taiwan in the mid-2000’s. Apart from the screenings, there will be a master class which offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to understand the cinematic world of Monika TREUT, a pioneer of queer cinema, and to learn about the role of queer cinema in leading the development of gender politics and improvement of the representation of women in cinema in the 1980’s.
CHO HyeYoung / Programmer
Germany, Taiwan2009Korean Premiere89DCPcolor
Germany, Taiwan2005Korean Premiere83DCPcolor