A Philoctetes for our times: from Kokoschka to The Peaky Blinders

by Abigail Akavia On permanent display in the MFA in Boston is a bust by Oskar Kokoschka, “Self-Portrait as a Warrior.” The sculpture is a dramatic head with bulging features: bridge of the nose, cheek bones, and creased brows. The eyeballs are painted azure blue, the parts around them bright orange. The head’s wrinkled features are…

Sex Scenes, Stage Kisses, Post-MeToo Intimacy: From Catherine Breillat to Sarah Ruhl and Back

by Abigail Akavia When I was in my early twenties I watched Catherine Breillat’s 2002 film Sex Is Comedy. It tells the story of a female director struggling to shoot a sex scene between her two young leading actors, who clearly can’t stand each other. The film follows the director through a series of off-camera…

Women on Strike

by Abigail Akavia Tuesday, December 4th, was a day of widespread women’s protests against gender-based violence in Israel. A general women’s strike was declared, which garnered the support of governmental departments, municipalities, unions and major corporations. Demonstrations were held across the country: roads were blocked; water in public fountains was dyed red; at Habima Square…