Aliens at 30 – in praise of James Cameron’s feminist masterpiece

  • Lara C Cory

Thirty years on, Sigourney Weaver’s iconic hero stands as a symbol of gender equality.

“In 19 minutes, this area’s gonna be a cloud of vapour the size of Nebraska,” warns Bishop during a pivotal scene in James Cameron’s Aliens. Injured and exhausted, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) straps herself with a pulse rifle, a flame thrower, and the locator Duct-taped together – plus some M40 grenades and M-94 marking flares – and sets out into certain death to rescue her surrogate daughter Newt. This scene doesn’t exactly scream “maternal instinct” but that’s exactly what it portrays and one of the reasons why the film remains a potent example of feminist cinema.
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