How To Make Female Action Heroes

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Indian stunt artists who hide their faces are paid more than those who show their faces, while Black women stunt artists are often cast for character types who don’t even get a proper name in the script.

Madhusree Dutta writes on hierarchy and exclusion in cinematic practices, with alternating chapters from the life stories of two female film students. Situated in a space between the personal and the archival, Dutta maps the construction of the femme fatale look and the role of body-doubles in cinema when certain identities are preferred over others.

Madhusree Dutta is a filmmaker, curator and author based in Mumbai and Berlin. She has been executive director of Majlis Culture, a centre for rights discourse and art initiatives in Mumbai from 1998 to 2016, then artistic director of the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne. Her areas of interest are documentary practices, urban cultures, migration movements, transient and hybrid identities.