31 October 2014

Friday is the (Inspirational) Movie Night: Matilda (1996)


Ok, consider that this is as Halloweenish/All Saints/All Dead I'll go. Here you have superpowers, intimidated children, terrible parents and teachers, and scaring people out of their wits. And the love for books... and Roald Dahl.

Matilda (1996) is a very sweet and very 1990's version of Dahl's tale about:

1) A little girl that has landed in the wrong family by birth. But, as the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb, finds her happiness in books first and then in leaving them behind once she has found an alternative, better suiting family.

2) A little girl with superpowers that permit her to fight against injustice, punish the meanies, and have fun.

3) A little bibliophile obsessed with the escape and horizons that books offer.

4) A little smartass that instead of formal schooling chooses unschooling at home as her happy ending.

That's why Matilda is a superheroine I'd chose over Hit-Girl. Also, the crucial story is centered around three female protagonists: Matilda, Miss. Honey and Trunchbull. And that's an emanicpatory thing: you get to see that there are many ways how anyone - also anyone gendered as a girl/woman - can yield power. While the level of stereotypical masculinization of Trunchbull can be discussed (is she depicted as masculine in order to be more of an Other, more scarier?), the very fact that it's a female-dominated narrative (+ Matilda's father) is already note worthy.

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