The Drama Film ‘Women Talking’ Is Set To Release This January
A new drama film, “Women Talking,” is set to release in January. More than a movie, the film centers on a central question that plagues women and survivors of violence every day: How do you react? Do you do nothing and stay to fight against the violence? Leave the community altogether? Written by director Sarah Polley with Mona Fastvold’s direction, the film stars Rooney Mara as one of many Mennonite women who learns that she has been systematically raped over months by men in her community. The cast includes Frances McDormand and Claire Foy. In the film, the women learn that they have been systematically raped by men in their community. As a result, the film offers an honest depiction of the effects of sexual abuse and rape on individuals, families, and communities. From a societal level, victims of sexual violence are often shamed and blamed for the abuse they face. The victims are seen as undeserving and irresponsible. It is also not uncommon for survivors to be told by family members how to act after an assault or abuse incident has occurred.
Who is in the cast?
- Rooney Mara as Ona
- Claire Foy as Salome
- Jessie Buckley as Marche
- Judith Ivey as Agata
- Ben Whishaw as August Epp
- Frances McDormand as Scarface Janz
- Sheila McCarthy as Greta
- Michelle McLeod as Mejal
- Kate Hallett as Autje
- Liv McNeil as Nietje
- Emily Mitchell as Miep
- Kira Guloien as Anna
- Shayla Brown as Helena
- August Winter as Nettie/Melvin
The film had its world premiere on September 2, 2022, at the 49th Telluride Film Festival and it is scheduled to be released on December 23, 2022, in the United States.
What is the film about?
The film centers on eight women from a Mennonite colony who learn that their community has been sexually abusing them for years. The women are all played by Rooney Mara. The one-word title of the film, “Women Talking,” suggests how most Mennonite colonies function. Men and women lead different lives and if women talk to men or vice versa, they are ostracised or excommunicated. This film tells the story of a group of female friends – named Ona, Salome, Mariche, Agata, and August Epp. who find out that they have been systematically drugged and raped by men in the colony at night since they were girls. They are given a choice; either stay in the community and continue to be exploited by men or leave the colony. Most of the women choose to leave – never to return.
Why should you watch this film?
This film offers a unique perspective on the effects of sexual violence on individuals, families, and communities. Unlike other films that focus on the victims of violence, this film focuses on the survivors. Women are forced to face new realities after they learn that they were being abused by the people they believed were their friends and protectors. While many survivors choose to remain silent and pretend that nothing has happened – these women decide to take action against their perpetrators. The film offers an honest depiction of how society marginalizes and blames victims and how survivors of sexual violence often feel shame for speaking up.
Who can watch this film?
While it is assumed that this film delves deep into the horrors of rape culture, this movie is rated R. Therefore, it is intended for mature audiences only. Additionally, there are scenes of violence in the film which include verbal and psychological abuse. While there are no explicit or nude sexual acts shown in the footage, rape culture permeates throughout the movie. It may be difficult for young viewers to understand the concept of rape culture and how patriarchy creates a toxic environment where women feel vulnerable to exploitation by men in positions of power.
What was the inspiration behind this film?
This film looks at women’s response to sexual violence and how they deal with it afterward through a religious community. The director Sarah Polley, who is a Mennonite, says she wanted to examine whether people are “allowed to be angry” if they know that something has been done to them.
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