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Bortom det kroppsliga: Prostitution som martyrskap i europeisk film
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Cinema Studies.
2007 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Here I study some European films from the late 1950’s and the early 1960’s by directors like Fellini, Visconti, Pasolini and Godard. By comparing them with different sociological studies on the subject of female prostitution I try to find out if these films are interested in the actual situation of the prostitute, or in their own image of the phenomenon. Is she an object used for sex or just an sex object? Is she positively or negatively pictured? With realism or as a stereotype? Which aspects of her situation is shown and which ones are concealed? What is the view on the men who actually use her services?

It seems natural that different types of films, with different types of prostitutes, illustrates different aspects of what prostitution might be. These films all include the female prostitute with the identity of the Martyr. What seems to be her function in the story? What are these films trying to say by killing off these women or making them suffer in all sorts of ways?

Even if martyrdom usually is something Christian, these women’s martyrdom is interesting of other reasons, even though the interesting thing is how she is shown, not to be allowed to get rid of her guilt in other ways than by sacrificing her own life, or something else of great value to her. Even then it does not seem sure that she will be “forgiven”.

These women are all striving to leave their prostitution. But this striving does not reward them in any way. They are not allowed to become “respectable” women after once having taken the identity of a prostitute. Some say patriarchy holds the female prostitute’s suffering for necessary. But the suffering in itself might also be, I try to argue, someting more or less subversive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. , 34 p.
Keyword [sv]
Prostitution Martyrskap Godard Identitet Dyer Sontag Feminism Sexualitet Representation Italien
National Category
Studies on Film
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7034OAI: diva2:197508
Available from: 2007-08-27 Created: 2007-08-27Bibliographically approved

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