Re-imagining the rape-revenge genre: Ana Kokkinos’ The book of revelation

McWilliam, Kelly and Bickle, Sharon (2017) Re-imagining the rape-revenge genre: Ana Kokkinos’ The book of revelation. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 31 (5). pp. 706-713. ISSN 1030-4312


The Book of Revelation focuses on modern dancer Daniel’s (Tom Long) abduction by three masked women. As its biblical title suggests, Daniel experiences a personal apocalypse: he is chained naked to a floor, raped and, on release, embarks on a violent quest to find his attackers. In this article, we discuss the film as the site of two distinct, but interwoven re-imaginings. First, we discuss the film as a re-imagining of the rape-revenge genre through its reversal of gendered norms: its replacement of a female rape victim with a male, and male perpetrators with females. Second, drawing on Sara Ahmed’s interdisciplinary notion of Queer Phenomenology, we examine the implications of this gendered shift in terms of its depiction of the experience of rape. We argue that the film’s focus on the vulnerable heterosexual male body and its privileging of spatial relations presents rape as a trauma of disorientation in which the victim is unable to reassert control, to achieve stability, even after release. Ultimately, we argue that the film can be read as a critique of its own genre and an intervention into ways of understanding the experience of rape.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2017 00:26
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 04:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australian film; queer studies; affect (cultural theory); gender and sexuality
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190204 Film and Television
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/10304312.2017.1315928

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