Swept Away (full English title: Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August, full Italian title: Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto) is a 1974 Italian film written and directed by Lina Wertmüller. It is a study in romance and class warfare.
The movie stars Giancarlo Giannini as long-abused crewmember Gennarino Carunchio, toiling on a yacht rented by a wealthy couple, Raffaella Pavone Lanzetti (Mariangela Melato) and Signor Pavone Lanzetti (Riccardo Salvino). A beautiful, wealthy, spoiled woman, Raffaella takes endless pleasure in verbally abusing Gennarino over nearly everything, but especially about his Communist politics. When an unusual event at sea leaves Gennarino and Raffaella cast away on an deserted Mediterranean island, the tables are finally turned and the Communist sailor suddenly has the upper hand in the relationship.
American film critic Roger Ebert gave the movie four stars, his highest rating.
Many reviewers criticized the film as deeply misogynistic, with its themes of violence against women, subjugation, and rape. Anthony Kaufman, in The Village Voice, called it "possibly the most outrageously misogynist film ever made by a woman."
Some reviewers and analysts responded that those who focused on the misogyny simply didn't understand the film's message about class warfare. James Berardinelli defended the film, writing "Those who view this film casually may easily mistake it for a male fantasy…The reality, however, is that Wertmuller is exhibiting the courage to show things that other filmmakers shy away from." John P. Lovell wrote "The sexual violence can be analyzed as political violence within the framework of patriarchal politics and the film's concern with a symbolic presentation of social revolt."
In Jump Cut, Tania Modleski dismissed those justifications, contending that critics would not have been so kind to those who made films which reinforced stereotypes—culminating in violent subjugation—about oppressed ethnic groups, so there was no justification for critics to praise a rape-fantasy film. Responding to the film's message about class warfare, she wrote "So even if Wertmuller (sic) wanted to convey only a political message, she has clouded rather than clarified the issues. She should have made both parties male."
- ↑ Kaufman, Anthony. "Maggie May . . .", The Village Voice, 2002-09-04. Retrieved on 2007-03-11.
- ↑ Berardinelli, James (2002). Swept Away. reelviews.net. Retrieved on 2007-03-11.
- ↑ Lovell, John P. (1998). Insights from Film Into Violence and Oppression: shattered dreams and the good life. Praeger/Greenwood, 47. ISBN 0275959724.
- ↑ Tania Modleski (1976). "Wertmuller’s women Swept Away by the usual destiny". Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media 1976 (10-11): 1,16. Retrieved on 2007-03-11.</cite> </li></ol>
- Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto at the Internet Movie Database
- Swept Away (2002) at the Internet Movie Database