The Piano - Not A Feminist Film Essay

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Critical Essay on Jane Campion’s The Piano.


My thesis is that: Although being directed by a mold-breaking female and despite being littered with feminist tropes, Jane Campion’s The Piano is not a feminist film.

Their opinion vs. mine
Interview Magazine, Jane Campion by Katherine Dieckmann, (January 1992)
As the director she hold s a omni-conscious view, aware of all possibilities of interpretations. Thus she both agrees and disagrees with me.
She is a very reputable considering she both write an directed the film I am studying
On The Issues Magazine, Is The Piano A Feminist Film? "Yes" by Rebecco Shugrue (1994)
She is strongly against my opinion, she views The Piano as a very feminist film.
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Every time Ada attempts to disagree or hold a contrary opinion to a man or to social norms, she is cut down not just by Stewart and Baines but also by the only two other key female characters, Nessie and Morag. These females undercutting a female mirror the misogyny undercutting any trace of feminism in this film.
One scene in the film that many critics and reviewers maintain is feminist is that where Ada accepts Baines offer to ‘earn’ back her piano (by selling herself to hi as a sex toy). He originally offers to return her piano one white key at a time per her visits to see him. Ada negotiates this offer until it will returned one sharp key at a time, a smart bargain as there are considerably less black than white keys on a piano. Rebecco Shugrue says that she believes this is an assertive move on the part of Ada, that she is manipulating this man to get what she wants. This is not the case. If this was truly a feminist film she could have, and should have, said “NO”. But she didn’t. “No” wasn’t an option for her due to the pre-imposed oppression of women present