Sunday Short Theatre – Whiskey Fist

You might want to sit down for this one.

Also, a disclaimer: this article contains some words that some might deem inappropriate.

In 2015 Whiskey sponsored a contest that invited filmmakers to submit a short script under the premise that “your story should be around the great and/or unexpected things that can happen when you fear less and invite life in”

As the opening titles state, this is not one of those scripts.

Whiskey Fist, directed by Gillian Wallace Horvat, and recently show at SXSW film festival, follows a young protagonist and ‘bro’, Justin (Chase Williamson), as an intern.  He is currently working with an app that matches men with potential ‘casual sex partners’ based on a woman’s level of depression and comfort-eating.

I know.  Arsehole.

The film begins in a confident, ballsy style with loud techno music and stylish camera movements; much like how Justin begins the film feeling superior and confident. I mean who wouldn’t, after such praise from their boss?

That soon changes when he meets a mysterious blonde at a work party who fucks him in the ass with a whiskey bottle…

Yes really.

This is perhaps not one to show your grandparents, but it’s the film’s bluntness that makes it so effective and unique in dealing with a sensitive social issue like male privilege and women’s reproductive rights.

It is clearly stated when Justin is being abused by anti-abortion protesters and he yells: ‘People are treating me like a woman, I’m already in Hell.’  I’d usually describe ‘on the nose’ as a bad thing, but here it’s a much-needed bottle round the head on the reality of misogyny.

By the end of the film, Justin has lost his job, for being ‘too emotional’. He does, however, gain a closer relationship with his mother.

This opposes the film’s stark way of expressing gender imbalance and plays into the stereotypical female character who is over emotional. Maybe that’s the point, but to me, it felt forced. Maybe it should have been his father, not his mother?

Whiskey Fist is a loud, crude feminist comedy on the empathy between genders- or lack thereof. It’s a clever gender swap film, and I think it’s about time a man got to experience what women do in a male-dominated industry.

Behind the madness, there is a powerful message.

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