Festival Review: Cock Cock… Who’s There? • Glam Adelaide

Festival Review: Cock Cock… Who’s There?

While many stories concerning sexual assault focus on victimhood, this one subverts it and takes a nose dive into the complexities.

By
Overall
4

Presented by Samira Elagoz

Reviewed on 28 February 2020

Nothing can prepare you for Samira Elagoz’s thought-provoking film Cock Cock… Who’s There? that’s showing at this year’s Adelaide Festival. While many stories concerning sexual assault focus on victimhood, this one subverts it and takes a nose dive into the complexities. The film begins by presenting a series of conversations with those closest to the Elagoz—her friends and family. Each of them speak openly about their well-intended, yet misinformed, views about sexual violence and gender relations (with the exception of her mother). It then shifts focus to a chain of interactions Elagoz had organised with a bunch of men she found on Craigslist. These moments reveal disturbingly candid insights from those who desire her. 

Elagoz refuses to pigeonhole her experiences, or conform to the stereotype of a ‘rape victim.’ Instead, she chooses to shine a spotlight on those who can give her answers. This not only shows the filmmaker as a brave survivor, but also as an inquisitive and determined researcher who confronts the problem headfirst. Almost every aspect of Cock Cock… Who’s There? arouses some form of discomfort and forces the viewer to question themselves.

Throughout the film, Elagoz would interject at certain moments to offer an explanation about the significance behind her piece, and how she used this process as a way to cope. This aspect was particularly effective when Elagoz re-enacted her interview with Tokyo police. She, along with two accompanying actors, were able to portray the humiliating and uncomfortable experience of retelling a horrific incident that occurred during the experiment.

While the approach Elagoz took for this film is controversial, it still sparks an important, but often subjugated, conversation about rape, the male gaze, and sexual consent. As a result, Elagoz builds her resistance and dismantles prejudice without ever having to raise her voice. Instead, she allows the work to simply speak for itself.

The film doesn’t offer much of a conclusion at the end, but instead hinges on what the audience can draw from it. Viewers are not only shocked by what Elagoz had to endure, but are also glad she was able to grow and become stronger from her experiences. Nevertheless, the issues raised in this film can be harrowing and will stick with you after leaving the venue. 

Reviewed by Tanner Muller

Rating: 4/5 stars

Venue: AC Arts, 39 Light Square, Adelaide SA 5000

Season: 28-29 February, 1-3 March 2020

Duration: 60 minutes, no interval

Tickets: $20-$49

Bookings: www.adelaidefestival.com.au/events/cock-cock-whos-there/

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