“My work focuses on narratives where Black women get to be the heroes of their own stories. In Wanted: Strong Woman, I wanted to tell the story from the point of view of a complex, multidimensional Black woman. I love character-driven stories and I wanted to follow how her sense of self evolves through learning wrestling.
My stance was to show symbolic dualities that reflect larger themes, for example juxtaposing wrestling and poetry. There’s an element of theatre and of elaborate physicality that I admire in the world of wrestling, especially watching stereotype-defying women performers who are unapologetic about who they are. Also, Afro-Caribbean people have a very rich literary and poetic history that I wanted to portray in the film as well.
I want people to embark on the journey with the main character Nadège, to engage emotionally and become strong along with her. I was also inspired to emphasize the sensory and visual aspect of the film to convey emotions and to create a feeling of immersion. The camera, static at first, becomes more and more mobile as Nadège gains confidence. From the beginning, there was an intentional effort to bring the sound design to augment the tension between Nadège’s interior/dream state and the exterior/reality in the film. These two worlds (dream/reality) will meet and become one.” (Director Marilyn Cooke)
Co-presented by Montreal Feminist Film Festival