9. Our Rapists, Ourselves

Women and the Staging of Rape in the Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar

  1. Marvin D'Lugo and
  2. Kathleen M. Vernon
  1. Leora Lev

Published Online: 21 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118325360.ch9

A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar

A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar

How to Cite

Lev, L. (2013) Our Rapists, Ourselves, in A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar (eds M. D'Lugo and K. M. Vernon), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118325360.ch9

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405195829

Online ISBN: 9781118325360



  • ¡Átame!/Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!;
  • cinema;
  • Hable con ella;
  • Kika;
  • Pedro Almodóvar;
  • rape scenes;
  • women


This chapter suggests that Pedro Almodóvar's cinematic reflections on rape offer a more nuanced, troubling, and necessary analysis that complicates - even when it's also clearly grappling with - understandings of rape both within Spain and beyond in ways that resist reductive categorizations. Although nearly all of Almodóvar's films deal with rape, including rape between men and child abuse, this chapter focuses primarily upon three emblematic films: ¡Átame!/Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and Kika, in which the act of rape is placed in a contemporaneous specularized media landscape; followed by Hable con ella/Talk to Her, whose critical elaboration of rape invokes an earlier intertextual web composed of a “monstrous feminine” of western cultural fairytales, myths, tropes, and cinematic representations. Almodóvar offers an alternative dénouement to the specularizations of implied or actual sexual violence against women.