Gone with the Wind (1939): “..it’s about the resourcefulness when there is no other option..”

Gone with the Wind

“The movie that I’ve probably seen more than any other film, is Gone with the Wind (1939) for me. It was my favorite movie growing up for some reason, which is weird because it’s basically a film that’s pro-confederacy during the civil war. It’s this erotic Southern romance film with Clarke Gable and Vivien Leigh in it. When I was growing up I had just never seen a woman, the main character Scarlett O’Hara, who was just so strong-willed and so sexual and it was different than all the other protagonists that I had seen in most mainstream movies at the time and even after that. Because she was just so driven by raw ambition and survival instinct. The main character comes from a very wealthy family, but throughout her family loses all their wealth during the civil war and she tries to reclaim some of that wealth and power to support herself and her family. She uses her sexuality to marry men whom she doesn’t love but she knows that they will provide stability for her and the people whom she loves. It’s sort of the way she openly employs her sexuality and her feminine wiles. At 6 years old I had probably seen that movie 10 times already because I was just fascinated by it as an icon in my life. A woman who isn’t ashamed of her sexuality and someone who is just driven by a need to defy people’s expectations of her. It was really interesting to see how profoundly different that performance was compared to all the women in films of the time in the 1930s with Hays Code and everything. That sort of didn’t allow that kind of raw sexuality. Even though I will admit it isn’t a politically correct film. It is horribly racist in some parts, but I think that the performance of Scarlet O’Hara is a really important one for women to be exposed to. Although the idea of women sleeping their way to the top using their sexuality to advance themselves. That’s one hundred percent what Scarlet O’Hara did, but I wouldn’t say everybody go sleep with men for money and power. That’s a bad idea! It shouldn’t have to be like that for women, but I think that it’s interesting that the main character, who lost everything, uses the one thing or power that a woman had at that time in the 1880s. For me, it’s about the resourcefulness when there is no other option. That, level of ambition whether or not if it’s based on sexuality has always been very inspiring and interesting.”

Photo and story by Feargal Agard.

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