Dangerous Beauty (1998) – Based on the 16th century true story of Veronica Franco who falls in love but can’t marry the object of her affections due to a lack of a dowry. With no marriage prospects, she’s faced with the decision to either enter the convent or become a courtesan. She chooses the life that provides her access to education, independence and the power of expression and articulation, as opposed to the cloister or wifehood which forbids women an education, basic intellectual rights and keeps them as subordinate creatures. Her beauty and smarts win over the hearts (and beds) of most of Venice’s aristocrats, but after Venice faces war and then the plague she is accused of witchery and causing the downfall of Venice.
The film brings great attention to the type of power an education gives a women. It also addresses how culture and society went to such lengths as to limit and control a women’s autocracy and intellectual potential by accusing education as the doorway to lewd, reckless and lascivious behavior. The film itself was great to watch and the plot intriguing and inspirational for all women who chose a more difficult path in the name of freedom and education. (Subject: Romance, Feminism, Education, Sex, Power) Director: Marshall Herskovitz