“Maguire comes across as bright and personable, clever and focused without ever wallowing in jargon, and perhaps most importantly of all, aware that ISOYG is not a perfect film whilst still eminently worth of a closer look. A well-written piece of work, the book could easily reward fans as much as students and it’s well worth a place on the shelf.”
~ Keri O’Shea, Warped Perspective
Welcome to another guest post by David Maguire, author of I Spit On Your Grave. On Tuesday, you read about the sequal’s messages in the age of gender-awareness and the #MeToo movement. Today, Maguire discusses why the original 1978 film still sparks controversy today and to what extent the documentary sequel, Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave, may debunk the myths fans have harbored for years.
For a more extensive look at how the historical, social, and political undertones of the original film infiltrate the 21st century conversation on gender roles, norms, and even violence, check out this excerpt from Maguire’s book.
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You can just imagine the conversations as a kid:
“So what does your Dad do?”
“Oh, he’s a film director.”
“A film director?! That’s so cool! What has he done?”
“I Spit On Your Grave…. Hello?… Hello?!… Why are you running away?….”
Forty years ago Terry Zarchi’s father, Meir, made what has been hailed as one of the most controversial films ever made. With its unflinching subject matter (the brutal gang-rape of a young career woman) it would be critically savaged, heavily cut and banned around the world – sometimes for decades. And little Terry Zarchi even featured in it, appearing (alongside his sister Tammy) as the child of one of the rapists! Since then the film has stoked debate for over four decades between those who condemn its misogyny – and those who praise it for raising uncomfortable issues about sexual violence.
Well now its Terry’s time to tackle the film head on because – releasing on DVD alongside the first and only official sequel to I Spit On Your Grave on 23 April – Terry’s documentary Growing Up with I Spit On Your Grave explores the myths behind his father’s controversial film. In the world’s first documentary on the movie – and five years in the making – we’re treated to all new interviews with the cast and crew from the original including Camille Keaton, Meir Zarchi, Ron Shetler (aka Eron Tabor) and Gunter Kleemann and it’s packed with never before seen footage and stills.
And it’s a great documentary – and I’m not just saying that because my book is featured in it! It’s a treasure trove of information for any I Spit On Your Grave fan. In all honesty, I wish the film had been out before I did all my research because there’s just so much of value in it. If you have any unanswered questions after reading my book. . . you’ll find the answers in Terry’s film!