This is not a man’s world. It’s a world where women are in charge. Welcome to Oppressed Majority! Written and directed by Eléonore Pourriat, Majorité Opprimée is a refreshing and nuanced take on gender role reversal.
Now, this isn’t your typical short film. It’s a thought-provoking, eye-opening piece that flips societal norms on their head and forces us to take a hard look at gender roles and stereotypes. The premise of Oppressed Majority is as intriguing as it is simple: men are the oppressed majority, and women are in power. I know what you’re thinking, “Another gender role reversal film? Really?” But trust me, this film takes the concept to a whole new level and presents it in a way that’s both engaging and thought-provoking.
This is a world where women catcall, pee on streets, and walk around in bare minimum. A world where men are more guarded, where they dutifully obey their wives and mind you, where men are the subject of verbal/physical assault. A world where women are unsympathetic and indifferent, while the men, sensitive and acquiescent.
Our protagonist is Pierre (played by Pierre Bénézit), an everyday guy trying to navigate his way through a world where he’s the one being catcalled, harassed, and belittled because of his gender. Pourriat’s direction is absolutely brilliant. She takes a concept that could easily become a caricature and instead presents it with a realism that’s both unsettling and enlightening. The film’s gritty, almost documentary-like style adds to this sense of realism, making the viewer feel like they’re right there with Pierre, experiencing his struggles and frustrations firsthand.
The performances are top-notch. Pierre is relatable and sympathetic. You can’t help but feel for him as he navigates through his day, facing constant harassment and discrimination. The supporting cast is equally impressive, each character adding another layer to this complex and thought-provoking narrative.
What’s really striking about the film is how it forces us to confront our own biases and preconceived notions about gender roles. It’s easy to dismiss the issues presented in the film as exaggerated or unrealistic, but the truth is, they’re based on the real experiences of countless women around the world. By flipping the script and putting men in these situations, the film makes these issues impossible to ignore.
The film does an excellent job of highlighting the double standards that exist in our society. Pierre is ridiculed for expressing his emotions, criticized for his appearance, and dismissed when he tries to report a crime. These are all things women often face, but seeing them happen to a man makes them all the more jarring.
The focus of the film is to try to address how we (both men and women) react or take to physical assault. Oppressed Majority brilliantly sensitizes us to the gravity of violence (in whatever form or degree) and everyday sexism women face. And why it’s not okay to accept it as part of our lives.
The film’s attention to detail is fascinating. Notice the three women, for instance, casually staring behind a man as he walks past. Or the woman police officer’s comment on her male assistant as she questions a male victim of molestation. Or even Pierre’s wife’s rather cold, dismissive reception to his frustration after the assault.
In conclusion, Oppressed Majority is a powerful, thought-provoking film that demands your attention and deserves your time. It’s not afraid to push boundaries while at the same time challenging the status quo. It doesn’t just tell a story, it starts a dialogue.
Eléonore originally released the film in French in 2010, online. The response was tepid. But the English-subtitled version released four years later went massively viral. It has over 12 million views on YouTube.
What would it feel like to wake up to this world? Would things be any different? Would it be as bad? Or worse? Tell us what you thought about the film in the comments below.
Where to Watch: YouTube