Women Talking (2022)
January 13, 2023 6:02 AM - Subscribe

A group of women in an isolated Mennonite community grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith after a string of sexual violations.

Several men in the colony were perpetrating the sexual assaults using animal tranquilizers, but were caught and arrested. As the other men of the colony travel outside to bail them out, the women of the colony debate how to respond: stay and give the demanded apology, stay and fight, or leave.
posted by larrybob (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This was a really gripping movie - I had no idea what I was getting into with it, and I feel like the discussions should get boring but it never did.
posted by jeoc at 9:46 AM on January 13, 2023

I very much want to see this. I read the book when it came out and it was absolutely compelling. Knowing it is based on true events is just that much more horrific, but the book itself I found oddly hopeful and uplifting. I can see from the trailer it’s beautifully filmed, par for the course for Sarah Polley. And what a cast!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:34 PM on January 13, 2023

What a gorgeous and upsetting movie—and I say that having read the book first. I liked the framing narration, which becomes so powerful at the end and which de-centers August’s voice (appropriately, I think). I appreciated the visual emphasis on the girls, playing together, doing each other’s hair, showing support for each other; it’s a counterpoint to the question of whether boys can learn to be better. They come to the fore in a way that they don’t as much in the book—and somehow the violence against them landed harder with me when I saw them being kids and being part of the discussion. Paying attention. Because generational matters are so important here! The apology from the older generation was bittersweet, and Judith Ivey and Sheila McCarthy were very, very good in their roles as elder spokeswomen. Ivey’s speech about never asking the men for anything was so moving—that list of little neglects, multiplied by a lifetime, and by every woman of the colony…preparing them to say No More. Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley were likewise well paired. Michelle McLeod (and her hand rolled smokes) had to carry the book’s strain of dry humor, which is pared way back in the movie, and she did a good job. My God, the flashbacks. Enough to suggest the horror and violence without reproducing it; that was effective , and a smart choice. I almost skipped the book because of the rapes, so I appreciate Polley’s choices here.

It’s a spare piece, with nothing extra. It really struck me how much humility and assertiveness work together here. Foot-washing preceding the exercise of the mind felt right. Having all of the actors in plain dress, stripped of glamour, felt right. Very little vanity on display, with a big emphasis on the mind and the self and the need for collective action. It worked. Not preachy, but curious and probing. The process of decision making is more interesting than what happens after they leave. But the motherless baby…

I thought this was a successful and powerful adaptation of the source material, and I’m glad I saw it. This movie won’t be for everybody, but I find myself wanting to see who it speaks to, and how, because I want to talk about it.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:12 PM on March 25, 2023 [1 favorite]

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