#MUFFApproved: Z for Zachariah
Z for Zachariah (2015)
dir. Craig Zobel
Starring: Margot Robbie
I’ve just returned home from seeing Z for Zachariah. It has awakened an unexpected feminist fire and so I feel I must express it. First, maybe I should catch you up to speed with a little bit about the story if you happen to be unfamiliar.
So, an unexplained nuclear disaster takes place and wipes out most of the human population. One survivor, Ann, played ever so powerfully by Margot Robbie, lives in solitude in a farm house when one day she is visited by a fellow survivor, a man (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Trust and companionship develops between them, but the arrival of another male survivor (Chris Pine) creates a complicated and emotionally charged love triangle.
Ann is first introduced as one tough cookie; she hunts, manages a farm and has somehow been able to keep her sanity even in her isolation. As the film progresses her insecurities and sweet disposition reveal a truistic human quality that is rarely seen in the representation of women in film, at least in my viewing experience.
Ann is the definition of a badass; a true, strong and independent woman, but what is afforded to the character by Robbie gives Ann the multidimensionality that she deserves; vulnerability. Just because a woman is sweet does not make her weak and just because she is tough and independent, that does not make her cold or self-effacing.
Though this film was directed and written by men (and made up of men in key creative roles), the writing, direction and performance from Robbie create a fully human female character that doesn’t succumb to a one-dimensional treatment.
Hip Hip Hooray for Z for Zachariah!
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