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Academic Books & Book Chapters

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Collective Revenge: Challenging the Individualist Victim-Avenger in Death Proof, Sleepers, and Mystic River

Claire Henry


The emergence of a subset of films that shed light on the individualism of the victim-avenger figure central to the genre, and that posit alternative solutions to the individualist transformation or survivor narratives, marks a notable trend in the genre. Rape-revenge films featuring multiple victims and collective responses—including Sleepers (Barry Levinson, 1996), Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, 2003), and Death Proof (Quentin Tarantino, 2007)—speak to the issue of sexual violence as a systemic problem, while also challenging the meaning of sexual violence as being purely a form of “violence against (individual white young) women.”

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