She’ll explore witchcraft as a means of empowerment – CNET – ApparelGeek

For hundreds of years we have been haunted by women who share their beds with Satan, using infernal powers to curse good people and steal the souls of believers. The witch is one of the most famous horror figures, and it’s still hard to shake the image of the white-haired, black-hearted old woman with a desire to devour babies in profane rituals. One of the reasons for the classic persistence of witches is that the trope remains overused in movies and TV shows. This happens even though we know that the witch-hunting movement that occurred in the early modern period was less about faith and more about obedience, because women condemned to burn were not devil worshipers. but those who refused to follow social conventions. That’s what makes Charlotte Colbertthe first feature film by, She goesso refreshing, as the film uses witchcraft as a means of empowerment.

She goes follows former movie star Veronica Ghent (Alice’s War) as she goes on a healing retreat after undergoing a double mastectomy. There, in the middle of the woods, Veronica begins to have visions of women being tortured and thrown into bonfires, a grim reminder of the real terrors that have occurred in neighboring lands. These visions, however, are not the work of the devil but a call for empowerment that leads Veronica to rediscover her body, realize her worth as a woman, and seek revenge on the man who abused her when she was still a child. It’s the perfect subversion of the old woman’s image, one that mirrors historical studies of the witch myth and how it was used to persecute women.

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A brief summary of the witch hunt

We tend to imagine that witches were hunted down in the Middle Ages, popularly known as the Dark Ages, due to supposedly widespread ignorance and blind faith. However, the witch-hunting movement actually took place in the early modern era, when we as a society began to organize our collective activities using reason as our rule. It was then that a particular type of people was pursued by political forces who hid their brutality behind the tender mask of faith. There are hundreds of books written on the systemic conviction of witches – some better, some worse – but the records of witch trials and executions paint a clear picture of those convicted of witchcraft.

First, the overwhelming majority of witch hunt victims were women, and in almost every case where a man was convicted, his primary crime was being associated with a supposed witch. And of the women tortured and killed during this dark historical period, most were past the age deemed appropriate for marriage. Official documents aimed at hunting witches even described being celibate or an unmarried widow as signs of possible involvement with Satan and pagan rituals. In other words, women who did not fit a specific profile were considered dangerous by society. And this profile tied a woman’s value to her obedience to a husband, preferably when they were still young.

On top of all this, the witch-hunting movement was also justified by the institutionalization of medicine. While in the supposed Dark Ages women were specialists in herbal healing, this knowledge was considered impure and evidence of witchcraft in the early modern age. And since formal studies were restricted to men only, the witch-hunting movement also took away women’s independence, as it became forbidden to pursue knowledge traditionally delegated to women. It’s no wonder the classic witch image is an old woman who lives alone in the woods, mixing herbs in a cauldron.

If there is any doubt that the witch-hunting movement aimed to control women’s bodies, it should be remembered that any minor accusation against a woman often led to invasive procedures and even torture. Women accused of witchcraft were stripped naked and every inch of their skin was inspected for signs of Satan. Any pimple or birthmark could be construed as evidence, but the investigation also frequently involved physical, psychological and sexual abuse. All this in the name of truth and reason.

During the period of the witches’ purge, women were systematically reduced to the position of objects, to be watched and controlled, and whose minor deviations from expected behaviors could lead to a bloody and painful death. The witch-hunting movement was very effective and it is no coincidence that even today the value of women is generally linked to their youth, their beauty and their obedience. Because of that, it’s a shame that horror continues to reuse the same tired trope of the witch as a female Satanist, who ignores history in the name of cheap thrills. But that’s also why She goes is so relevant.

“She Will”, Witches and Empowerment

Instead of mystifying the witch, She goes It’s about understanding the pain caused by witch hunts and how, centuries later, we still reproduce similar ideas. In this way, the protagonist of the film is an actress, a woman who has gained fame and fortune by being a pretty face in Hollywood and remaining silent while being abused by a much older director, Hathbourne (Malcolm McDowell). At the beginning of She goes, Veronica is not a witch because she stays in the position she thinks is reserved for a woman. However, during the retreat, she must face some hard truths.

First of all, she is no longer young and Hollywood is looking for a new face to replace her in the remake of her star role. Then she has just lost both of her breasts, the operation scarring her body and threatening to take away her femininity. It’s no wonder Veronica is portrayed as a woman struggling with her self-esteem and using whatever power she has left to verbally abuse her nurse, Desi (Town of Eberhardt), a young woman who reminds her of everything she thinks she has lost. Veronica has played the role of the excellent woman all her life, and now she’s right on the cover of the tabloids who want to expose her wrinkles like they’re something to be ashamed of.

Worse, despite being much older than Veronica, Hathbourne doesn’t need to hide his face and continues to be celebrated in Hollywood. Hathbourne is more than just an aging body, as his mind has value to the public. Veronica, however, is shunned as soon as she can no longer be objectified by a society that reveres youth. Veronica feels she’s come to the end of the road, which is why she’s so sad and angry all the time.

However, when she reaches retirement, Veronica’s visions bring her into contact with the history of witches. And with each new dream experience, Veronica begins to understand how she was doomed for the same reason these women were. Fortunately, there are no more public executions or bonfires. But even if she manages to live, Veronica is still targeted for the same reasons as witches. These visions give her the power to punish her abuser, who she forces to confess the truth about how he raped her when she was still a teenager trying to have her escape to Hollywood.

By the end of the film, Veronica is confident, happy, and content with her body, proudly showing off the surgical scars she previously hid. She goes, then echoes the recent symbolic appropriation of witchcraft as a means of empowerment. In She goes, Veronica doesn’t become a witch because she gains some kind of arcane power. A witch in She goes is in fact a woman ready to recognize her own worth, in defiance of the male gaze. She is a woman who can accept that our bodies age over time and that it is unhealthy to wish for eternal youth. A witch is also a woman who can understand that her body is more than an object of desire and that losing her breast does not make her less of a woman. Finally, a witch is a woman who learns to reach out to other women for help and to share some support instead of viewing themselves as enemies fighting for male attention.

Independence, self-esteem, sisterhood. In She goes, Veronica becomes a witch because she chooses to become like the woman who was thrown into the flame, not because she made a deal with a supernatural force. And by accepting her role as a powerful woman, Veronica finally gets the tools she needs to fight sexual harassment and abuse. And that is precisely what it means to see witchcraft as a form of empowerment. As a society, we need to recognize the real reasons why women were burned just centuries ago and how the exact reasons are still used to maintain a patriarchal society today. And by understanding this historical process, we can build better human relationships.

She goes is available now on Shudder. Check out the movie trailer below:

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She’ll explore witchcraft as a means of empowerment – CNET – ApparelGeek

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