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Slamdance 2019 Review: “Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture” (2019) ★★★★


Unfortunately, the world went mad a long time ago when it started objectifying celebrities, ordinary people, or simply their opinion. How many times have you read on social networks that so and so celebrity has no right talking about politics because they have more money than others? Or they are too privileged to complain about anything? And when we find someone who’s in deep trouble, does drugs, but happens to be a famous person? What do we do then? Maybe not you or me, but we jump to criticize them, call them spoiled, to put it in a very respectful way.

“Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture” is a satirical, puppet animation that revolves around the world governing the American entertainment industry where the viewers or the listeners are the main players of this big game of politics, misogyny, injustice towards women, and reasons why they have never been taken seriously. What is allowed to man is forbidden to women. Junie Spoons was a child star, has talent, voice, and could’ve become much bigger if she hadn’t fallen into the same trap as many others – fame, money, drugs and judgement of the world that had no empathy whatsoever.

As it usually happens in reality, the rise of Junie Spoons begins at home, but was the same home, rather her mother, who brought her down to earth when she realized that her little daughter is an excellent money-making machine. Junie quickly becomes the most successful child artist in the history of the world. But keeping the same up, she quickly turns into a scandalous personality, is subjectified, her sex tape is seen by millions, and at age fifteen poses for Playtoy (aka Playboy). She displays the lowest IQ and overall becomes the perfect example of how to set one being into self-destruction.

All these and many other shocking revelations are being examined in the film through VH1’s Behind the Music format which, I must warn you, is quite appalling in a sense, seeing what Junie turns herself into, which is disturbing and even graphic. But despite being fiction, this documentary is in a way biblical, horrific and truthful. As you watch it, you will notice too many similarities to what you have already seen in the news, but in a more tragic way through the dolls that are real like human beings.

Written, directed, edited, produced and even voiced by Nicole Brending, “Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture” is all what you need to see to connect the dots of the pop-culture world. It’s wicked, intelligent, so damn relevant yet mind-blowing. Everything about it is an anger, love, dedication and hard-work of talented people that were used and misused by those who took the artistic world for granted.

That said, no word can describe what ears can hear or eyes can see. Brending’s film is the only piece you should be concerned about and must not be missed. Because if you do, you will miss the most important life lesson – we create idols, but we destroy them as well if we get too tired of them. And that there’s no vaccine from making mistakes nor becoming senseless and heartless. If we want to decide who we shouldn’t become, we must follow not Junie Spoons’ life story, but those who were responsible for her downfall with no way to redeem herself afterwards.

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