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A short film about a world in which women have all the power went relatively unnoticed until recently. When it was re-posted with English subtitles, the film went viral.
(Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images)
What if women ran the world? Oppressed Majority (Majorite Opprimee), a French short film directed by Eleonore Pourriat, asks exactly that.
Pourriat's short film, originally released in 2009, went relatively unnoticed until recently, according to French newspaper Le Figaro. When it was re-posted with English subtitles last week, the film went viral exceeding 4 million views on YouTube as of this writing.
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The 10-minute video reverses gender roles, creating a society where women dominate: they catcall, urinate in alleyways, jog bare-chested down the street and make unsolicited sexual advances on unsuspecting men.
The plot follows an ordinary man, Pierre, as he goes through the course of a typical day in a small French town. Women whistle at him as he takes his child to daycare, where a male caregiver wearing a hijab meets him at the door.
WARNING: The film is slightly NSFW.
A female neighbor calls Pierre "honey," and a woman heckles him as he rides his bike, shouting, "Think I don't see you, sitting there shaking your ass in my face!" He gets cornered by a gang of women, and sexually assaulted at knifepoint in an alleyway.
Pourriat said that the video, which is experiencing a second breath of life in Britain, is rooted in her own experience as a woman living in France.
"I think French men are worse than men elsewhere, but the incredible success of the movie suggests that it is not just a French problem," Pourriat said in an interview with British newspaper The Independent. "What angers me is that many women seem to accept this kind of behavior from men or joke about it. I had long wanted to make a film that would turn the situation on its head."
Pourriat told the Guardian she believes that the sudden surge in interest is telling of the tenuous climate for women’s rights in Europe right now, citing the crackdown on abortion rights in Spain and sexism in France.
“The feminist fight is more important now,” Pourriat said. “Five years ago I felt like an alien. Now my film is making a buzz because rights are in danger. You see that in Spain with abortion rights. The whole thing about marriage for all, the homophobia and sexism. It is like a black tide today in France."
Oppressed Majority has sent the internet spinning, sparking debate on social media among feminists and misogynists alike. But some men still seem to be missing the point. "Sorry, but I would adore to live such a life," said one French male blogger. "To be raped by a gang of girls. Great! That's every man's fantasy."