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Drama - Family

Women Talking (2022)

Duration1h 44m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG-13, Spain: 7
Source of storyA book by Miriam Toews, itself based on real events in a Mennonite community in Bolivia.
DirectorSarah Polley
Writers/ScriptSarah Polley
StarringRooney Mara, Judith Ivey, Emily Mitchell, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand, Ben Whishaw,
RatingsIMDb: 7.2/10 by 8,249 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 91% by 265 reviewers. Review2view: 5.5/10.

Summary: In a Mennonite community, somewhere in the southern hemisphere some women and girls have been raped by men who first of all have used cow tranquiliser on them, and some have had children due to the rapes.  As a result of this some men have been arrested and the others have gone to town to bail them. Meanwhile, with only the women left in the community they have to decide what to do next, but they are hampered by the fact that none of them have been taught to read and write. Hence they get the help of a young male teacher who keeps the minutes of their meeting, and is required eventually to produce charts for each of the possible actions which are, stay and do nothing, stay and fight and leave. It seems possible that if they leave they will be excluded from the kingdom of heaven, but even so it might be the best action. However even that action has its problems. To start with they do not know where they are. What to do?

Content: No sex or nudity, although the rapes are discussed. About ten women sit about in a hay loft overlooking an extensive cultivated area and chatter away for ages. They vacillate, sometimes electing to stay sometimes to go, although the return of one of the men to get funds for the bail, during which he assaults his wife (not seen), seems to make up the minds of some.  One tells stories about her two horses, which may be parables, another is for violent action.

A View: This outing has been much liked by the critics, surely in some way influenced by the subject matter. In fact the narrative is quite difficult to understand unless you already know what it’s all about At the very least it lacks drama, which could have been present. In the end we are forced to look at the fundamentals. Are films intended to entertain, or to inform? Should we have an emotional experience or not? Should we enjoy what we are seeing? If the answer is none of the above, then this outing is fine, but it is not one which I could recommend to anyone.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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