Leshu Torchin

Leshu Torchin is a Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, where she works on the subject of film and human rights advocacy. Her work has appeared in Third Text, and Cineaste. She is the author of Creating the Witness: Genocide in the Age of Film, Video and the Internet (University of Minnesota Press, 2012.)


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Carol and The Dressmaker

Carol and The Dressmaker

In light of the praise from colleagues and friends, it feels heretical to confess my ambivalence towards Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015). There is a lot that makes it special. A lesbian love story that ends well, released at Christmas (aka Academy Awards season) feels like cause for celebration—even if films focused on queer women should be a commonplace occurrence. More»

Disruption as Symptom

Disruption as Symptom

Mr Robot is coming to the UK (as well as Australia and Germany). As well as migrating from the US, the 10-episode cyber-thriller (renewed for a second season) is changing platforms, leaving the USA Network for Amazon Prime, which holds the international rights. More»

Consuming Amy Winehouse

Consuming Amy Winehouse

Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy, about the singer Amy Winehouse, is suitably gutting. How could it not? Hers is a tragic story of a vibrant young woman with extraordinary talent whose life is cut short by drugs, alcohol, and an eating disorder. It is also, Kapadia takes care to show, the story of a girl surrounded by thousands, all who wanted a piece of her until, bit by bit, she disappeared. More»

You're Welcome

You’re Welcome

“You’re Welcome,” reads this most appropriate tagline to the sequel to Magic Mike. Once a snide reminder of forgotten thanks, this phrase has come to mean the inevitable grateful outpouring in response to something highly desirable or cool. The anticipated gratitude could be for a number of things. More»

In Defence of Patricia Arquette

In Defence of Patricia Arquette

When she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Boyhood, Patricia Arquette delighted many with her call for wage equality in her acceptance speech. It was a timely call, for its political appeal and because it likely struck a nerve for many in Dolby Theatre, seeing as the Sony hack had revealed that actresses, even top box office earners, receive less than actors. More»

Why Context Matters

Why Context Matters

Countless cries of ‘Je Suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie) have emerged in the wake of the violent attack on satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo—one that has left 17 dead. And almost as swiftly, and now almost as furiously, comes the backlash. This backlash, and its proponents, are careful to condemn the attack, but nonetheless declares, ‘I am not Charlie’ as it tries to call attention to the racism inherent in many of the publication’s political cartoons. More»

Masculinity in Crisis

Masculinity in Crisis

It’s ironic that the films receiving the most critical praise and attention right now are about, in varying degrees, the crisis of masculinity and the difficulties of being an (important) man. This isn’t to say these films are not good. More»

My Year in Film

My Year in Film

It’s increasingly difficult to write year-end surveys. They seem to come earlier and earlier each year, and are hardly special in a landscape of reportage made almost entirely of lists. A top ten of lists would almost be worth it, if not for the risk that such navel gazing would precipitate Internet implosion (or self-loathing). Moreover, there was a lot of cinema in 2014 that merits note. More»

Hollaback Hysteria

Hollaback Hysteria

Over a week on, and hundreds of think pieces later, it would seem unnecessary to explain that the Hollaback video refers not to Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl, but to the video entitled 10 Hours of Walking in New York City as a Woman, produced by Rob Bliss Creative for Hollaback, an international organisation dedicated to ending street harassment against women. More»

Colonial Responsibilities

Colonial Responsibilities

My mother couldn’t believe they chose to broadcast The Honourable Woman when tensions in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict are at a high, both on the ground and in the world that watches. The TV miniseries, which just ended its run in the UK, and which is still airing on Sundance in the US, is spy thriller meets melodrama, fitting for a political topic which invites such impassioned urgency, even for those without stakes in the Middle East. More»

The Schlub Problem

The Schlub Problem

It’s a shame Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday expressed her ideas so inelegantly, because the relationship between entertainment and a culture of misogyny bear scrutiny. After all, the ghastly Isla Vista shootings have generated several public discussions about gun violence and regulation, mental illness, and in particular misogyny. More»

How Not to Defend Spoilers

How Not to Defend Spoilers

A seemingly endless pattern has developed. Somebody on my Facebook feed gives away a development from a television program, and another person complains. Then, the discussion starts about spoilers. It’s always the same arguments that prevent any meaningful exploration from taking place. More»

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