(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

WOMEN TALKING is set in an anti-feminist world, in a world much like that of A HANDMAID'S TALE. But it is not a future dystopia; it is set in the present, and is an isolated society run by men where religion is used to control the womenfolk. And it is based on a real-life Mennonite colony in Bolivia in from 2005 to 2009. The film portrays this society of women kept illiterate and under total control in very muted tones, almost as if it were a black and white film.

This is a film that depends on the script and the acting. Sarah Polley both directed and wrote the script (based on the novel by Miriam Toews). The novel is told entirely from the "minutes" kept by the male school teacher, while the movie actually shows you the women talking, and gives you a better sense of their feelings. As Sheila O'Malley points out, in the novel you are getting the women's feelings filtered through the man who is taking the minutes. This is yet another 2022 film by a woman director and screenwriter that focuses on women and their feelings and perceptions. (MASTER; THE WOMAN KING; CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY; and GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE are some other examples that come to mind.)

Released 6 January 2023. Rating: high +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10

Film Credits: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13669038/reference

What others are saying: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/women_talking

					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2023 Mark R. Leeper