While scholarly discussion of disability in Australian narrative has focused on disability as a representational device, used to reinforce a hypermasculine and able-national identity, this article draws on Ato Quayson’s aesthetic nervousness to establish patterns of cultural critique throughout Mad Max: Fury Road, layered on and through capitalism and gender representation. Strong female protagonists have been a recurring character in action genres since the 1980s yet have often been absent in Australian national cinema. There is barely a scene in Fury Road that does not include a disabled body and/or a woman. Furiosa’s counterpart is not Max but Immortan Joe. Both bodies are impaired and use prosthesis. However, the role of Joe’s prosthesis is to hide his decaying body, while the role of Furiosa’s seems only to exist in Joe’s world. Throughout this article, the authors invoke critical disability studies to argue that disability and gender are central to the aesthetic of Fury Road and to conveying its sociopolitical messages. In an ensemble filled with women, Furiosa’s distinguishing feature is no longer her gender but her disability.
Ellis, Katie; Peaty, Gwyneth; and McRae, Leanne
"Complicating Feature: Gender and Disability in Mad Max: Fury Road,"
Antipodes: Vol. 36:
1, Article 12.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol36/iss1/12