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Women Talking

Women in a religious community must decide how to respond to a recent assault


Why watch this film?

At the beginning of 'Women Talking', the audience gropes the story in the dark. The setting seems to be taken from a period film. 18th century, perhaps? After all, the town where the film takes place is bucolic and the women who appear there, talking in a barn, are dressed in clothes that are from a few decades ago. The conflict established by Sarah Polley, director and screenwriter, is also nebulous: they were assaulted and now they need to decide what to do. Do they confront the men or leave? These doubts, which arise quickly and dissipate slowly, are intentional. We enter the story after the assaults - this violence, after all, does not even deserve to be photographed. What Polley wants to show is the reaction, the fight. These women, even deprived of writing, reading, and their own voice, have decided to put an end to it and are defining which path to follow. Some are more reactive, others more rational. But, gradually, the setting is built and the discussion, which is reminiscent of '12 Angry Men', is being solved. The fact is that 'Women Talking' suggests, does not bring action and movement, but thought, conversation, and reflection. I will not go into details about how the lives of Ona (Rooney Mara), Salome (Claire Foy), Mariche (Jessie Buckley), or Greta (Sheila McCarthy) are, nor will I explore these issues that I raised earlier. The surprise of discovering this is part of the experience - painful, it is worth saying. These women are resisting, but the pain of the past accompanies them and leaves an open wound that seems to be healed in a few. In the end, the temporal confusion becomes Polley's brilliant move and places the film as one of the most emotional at the Oscars.



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Plot summary

In 2010, women in an isolated religious community struggle to reconcile their reality with their faith. Based on the novel by Miriam Toews.

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