“Do nothing. Stay and fight. Or leave. In 2010, the women of an isolated religious community grapple with reconciling a brutal reality with their faith.” – IMDB
Women Talking is not an easy movie to watch. Before going into the movie, you should know that you are dealing with subject matter involving rape, abuse, child abuse, and other incredibly dark and disturbing topics. However, even having seen it the first week of January, I already know that this is going to be one of the best movies I see this year.
The story takes place in a small, incredibly strict, and incredibly conservative Mennonite community grappling with how to handle horrendous attacks against the community’s women and children by many the men in the community, including brothers, sons, and husbands.
What elevates this movie is that it specifically focuses on the women in the community as they secretly meet in a hayloft to decide whether to stay and do nothing, stay and fight, or leave. The story does not exploit the graphic nature of the crimes, but instead focuses on how these women struggle, not only physically and emotionally, but with the very core of their identities and beliefs. Ultimately, we watch as these women decide if and how to regain their power and move forward.
Having read what the story was about, I thought it would be very specific to this community. However, within the first five minutes, the filmmakers make it very clear that this story is universal. Topics of misogyny, power, religion, fundamentalism, and abuse are discussed in profound and universal ways.
Ultimately, I left this movie feeling hopeful, which is quite the feat for the filmmakers given how dark the subject matter can get. If you are prepared for it, then this film is deeply moving, memorable, and well worth the watch.
Rating: 9 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: The Magdalene Sisters, The Devils
Streaming: In Theaters only
With: Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley
Directed By: Sarah Polley