We need more selfish female protagonists – Desiree Akhavan and International Women’s Day

ab international womens day

Belle du jour Desiree Akhavan has taken the UK press by storm this week – popping up in The Times, The Guardian and The Evening Standard. Her film APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR has garnered a smattering of rave reviews, but today we want to celebrate the woman herself. If you didn’t know, 8 March is International Women’s Day the theme of which for 2015 is Make It Happen. 

This couldn’t ring more apt for Desiree, or her producer Cecilia Frugiuele,  who together raised the finance, produced, wrote, directed and starred in this fantastic film. APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR refuses to be a lecture, in interviews Desiree has frequently vented her frustrations at politically edged movies that feel like ‘taking your medicine’. If this film is medicine, it’s Calpol when you’re 12 years old and you simply cannot get enough.

But enough for me, here are some fantastic words from Desiree herself on female characters and filmmakers in the contemporary scene:

Over the years in films we’ve had so many men be flawed, multi-dimensional characters who can be mature in some venues and fall apart in others, and the women are just there rolling their eyes and supporting them.

But when I look around at the films that are coming out now by female directors we’re seeing women characters go through a stunted adolescence where they’re able to fuck up just as much as any dude would.

I hear about this “new wave” of slacker female films and I think it’s just women getting the opportunity to tell stories. I’m not ashamed to talk openly about my flaws like what, only Wood Allen gets to do that?

– Desiree Akhavan