comrade_yui’s review published on Letterboxd:
the victory of mary harron's film is it accurately understands and portrays why charles manson was so seductive. manson was simultaneously liberating and patriarchal for the women of the 60s, he showed them a proliferation of life and discourses beyond the disciplinary society they grew up in, while also hobbling their self-agency and subordinating their desires to his own vision of the world. this is the legacy of the 60s, it wasn't a big grand pure expression of love & camaraderie that was suddenly ruined by the manson murders, he wasn't an outsider who crashed the party, the manson murders were the logical outcome of the summer of love: a full expression of desires 'free from your ego', in which your ego ends up being re-constructed by those who pretend to free you. manson was selling the dream that we live in now: everyone's free to do whatever, except trespass on the arbitrary hidden set of codes invented to trip individuals up and subordinate themselves to the ever-changing whims of corporate machinery. manson was the first neoliberal, inventing a new world every 15 minutes to replace the old one as a divine puppet-master. this film understands that the real victims of manson wasn't the summer of love, or really even sharon tate. it was the generations of women who were raised on manson's promise that if their sexuality was free, if their bodies were free, if their ego was free, then their gendered oppression would follow suit. instead, we still live in a reality where the magical sisterhood promised by 60s gurus never materialized, there were no sisters to support each other. before you were a sister, you were a girl, a wife, a mother, a lover, a subordinate, a tool for men to enact their violence with and onto. manson promised the world to these women, and instead he clipped their wings and put them in a box. we're still in that box today.