is a real Rorschach test. When people see
a gun in the hands of a woman, they might see it as an equalizer, an instrument
of empowerment, or a fetish object. None
of these is mutually exclusive. Indeed,
the many perspectives on women gun-ownership often overlap and conflict with
one another in Cathryne Czubek’s A Girl
and a Gun (trailer
screens as part of DOC NYC 2012.
many of G&G’s talking head
experts hail from the general neighborhood of feminist thought, just about
everyone acknowledges women’s relative physical vulnerability compared to men,
especially liquored up stalkers. This
was particularly true for one middle aged tai chi instructor who broke up with
her abusive body-builder boyfriend. Realizing the police operate almost entirely
reactively rather than proactively, she came to the somewhat reluctant
conclusion she needed a gun.
is not the only one to rely on guns for protection of life and limb. One young widow living on an isolated farm
with her young baby used her late husband’s shotgun to blow a home-invading
predator to Kingdom Come. Part of her remains
troubled by the incident, but she will do it again if need be to protect her
child. Similarly, sex columnist Violet
Blue has seen her fair share of death threats.
However, letting would-be stalkers know she keeps a loaded gun handy has
had a deterrent effect. She also thinks
armed women are hot (and we’re not about to argue with her).
G&G takes great efforts to show
the other side of the coin, such as the prison interview with a woman who
fatally shot her ambiguous roommate.
Somewhere in the middle, we meet an Upper Westside social worker, who
became an accomplished recreational shooter, but refuses to keep a firearm in
supposedly exposing the ways the gun industry has attempted to exploit the
women’s market, G&G is rather
underwhelming. In truth, it is hard to
imagine a better informed group of consumers than women gun-owners. Still, the fact that Czubek’s film will even
entertain the notion some women have a legitimate and pressing need to own a gun
for reasons of self-defense is rather bold.
That she bends over backwards to present cases of accidental and
criminal gun deaths is to be expected.
Yet, it is impossible to watch the Oklahoma farm widow’s segment and argue
she would be safe without her guns.
Given its somewhat balanced approach, G&G is probably in for a rocky
reception at DOC NYC. However, it could
have earned Blue a whole new fanbase were it not for the anti-Romney material
on her site. For New Yorkers and her Bay
Area neighbors, A Girl and Gun offers
some eye-opening moments. Recommended accordingly
for local audiences, it screens this coming Sunday (11/11) and the following
Wednesday (11/14) at the IFC Center, during DOC NYC ’12.
Labels: DOC NYC '12, Documentary, Guns, Violet Blue