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Women Talking

After the men of a Mennonite community get convicted of multiple rapes, the women have to decide what they are going to do. Sarah Polley‘s unconventional adaptation of Miriam Toew‘s novel follows the womens' discussion.


WOMEN TALKING, Sarah Polley‘s adaptation of Miriam Toew‘s novel, is an unconventional film. The images of the rural Mennonite community in “turn of the century gray-blue“ are plausible and have been seen in countless films. The theater-like, fragmentary staging requires some getting used to. The dialogue is purposefully didactic and sometimes seems like it‘s set today and other times it seems like it‘s coming from an a pre-industrial past. As a whole, it‘s perplexing, but a maelstrom unfolds. The main film setting is a hayloft. The women of a deeply religious community deliberate about their fate here. The film shows how it came to this situation shortly before the credits: the men in the community have been raping women and girls for years and have convinced them these assaults were committed by demons. When the women catch one of the men, the perpetrators are arrested. The community has posted bail and the women now have two days to decide what they should do: do nothing, stay and fight or leave. Eight women, among them the strict Janz (Frances McDormand), smart Ona (Rooney Mara) and angry Agata (Claire Foy) are meant to make the decision for everyone, and the gentle teacher August – the only man with a speaking role – is writing a protocol. The film follows the meandering discussion and intertwines it with short, shocking flashbacks and outside views – the field, an empty kitchen or in the school where only the boys go to learn. In the hayloft it is about guilt (are individual men to blame or the system?), resistance (does leaving mean fleeing?), upbringing (are the little boys still salvageable?) and God (what would be the most godly path?). In between, the women argue, cry and console each other and sing “Nearer, my God, to Thee.“


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Women Talking
USA 2022, 104 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Sarah Polley
Author: Sarah Polley
DOP: Luc Montpellier
Montage: Christopher Donaldson
Music: Hildur Guðnadóttir
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Cast: Frances McDormand, Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, Sheila McCarthy, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw, Michelle McLeod
Release: 09.02.2023




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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