Mariano Tomatis, 7 june 2013
I sawed her in half for love
Today La Repubblica delle Idee event has hosted the presentation of the book by Michela Murgia and Loredana Lipperini L’ho uccisa perché l’amavo (“I have killed her for love”), edited by Laterza (Rome). The book deals with femicide and its title comes from the dreadful headline of an article in print, citing the justification given by a man who hit his partner to death. Together with Adriano Sofri, the two authors have extensively analysed the phenomenon, with an approach focused on the way modern narratives shape the perception of sexuality and genders in the public opinion. During the session, they have cited also my documentary “Women in half” as one of the few examples of works on the topic created by a male.
My work has been profoundly inspired by Murgia and Lipperini’s book, and deals with femicide seen through the eyes of a magician studying the history of illusionism and theatrical narratives.
Woman are used as “theatrical props” to confirm the power of a man since the times of Georges Méliès, but the narratives around this use have become more and more cruel. In 1921 the stunt of the “woman sawed in half” wapresented for the first time in London, and it has generated dozens of variations, increasingly grim and gruesome. But if in those years it was a (questionable) political gesture – designed to limit the power of the supporters of the women’s vote – today the symbolic havoc of women lives on undisturbed in theaters all over the world. Women continue to be pierced, impaled, crushed and tortured to applause.
This is the story of men’s strange power requiring the body of a woman to confirm itself:
Director: Mariano Tomatis
Music: Circus Marcus & Silver Process
Many thanks to: Ferdinando Buscema, Iaia Caputo, Francesca Coppa, Lucy Fischer, William Kalush, Loredana Lipperini, Michela Marzano, Michela Murgia, Jim Steinmeyer & Lorella Zanardo