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In ‘Sound of My Voice,’ A Woman as Savior—Or Fraud

By Alyssa Rosenberg on March 22, 2012 at 8:37 am

"In ‘Sound of My Voice,’ A Woman as Savior—Or Fraud"


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I find Brit Marling, who broke out in dreamy science fiction movie Another Earth and is the best part of financial crimes thriller Arbitrage, which should be out later this year, utterly fascinating. So I’m intrigued by Sound of My Voice, in which she plays the leader of a cult who claims to be a time traveler from the year 2054:

I don’t know if the movie will explore this, but I think it would be fascinating if it at least interrogated the idea that people think Marling’s character is a cult leader because it’s easier to believe that than to accept that a woman might be capable of the miraculous, might be a savior. We get lots of pop culture depictions of cult leaders as men who are using their power, and the fact that people are willing to invest authority in them, as a way to enhance their sense of their own masculinity, whether by gaining sexual partners, amassing wealth, or creating opportunities for them to prove themselves in violent confrontations with outsiders. But we see women far less frequently, and I wonder if that’s a result of male creators not being able to identify with the idea that a woman could be a messianic leader.

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