“Jibaro” is a potent metaphor for sexual assault and male entitlement told through visual design and interpretive dance.
This recap of Love, Death + Robots season 3, episode 9, “Jibaro”, contains spoilers. You can check out all of our coverage of this show by clicking these words.
Completely devoid of dialogue and communicating entirely through visual storytelling and interpretive dance, “Jibaro” is a potent metaphor for male dominance and sexual violence told by reworking the siren myth, that old Greek tale of songstresses luring sailors to their deaths.
Love, Death + Robots season 3, episode 9 recap
Admittedly it’s hard to be sure exactly what “Jibaro” is trying to say, but I got that unmistakable feeling of violation and entitlement from one sequence in particular, and from there the episode seemed to morph into a kind of arthouse rape-revenge thriller. It’s open to interpretation, of course, but that was mine.
An intriguing hook is that one of the characters here, a knight among a party who’re hunting the siren, is deaf, leading initially to a stalemate and then a one-on-one battle that quickly turns sexual and then violent. This interpretation of the siren is covered in jewels, and after knocking her out, the knight rips them from her body, taking her wealth by force, claiming it as his own, and then tossing her aside as if she were nothing beyond that which he had already taken from her by force.
You see where I’m getting this whole sexual assault angle from, I’m sure.
Anyway, the knight makes the mistake of drinking from the water, which restores his hearing and makes him susceptible to the siren. Now stripped of her jewels and trinkets, she enacts her screaming revenge as the river runs red with blood.