“Women Talking” is a film adaptation of the book of the same name by Miriam Tyves (a writer from Canada). The film is about a Mennonite community in which women were subjected to regular sleep rape. The picture made such a splash on the audience and criticism that it was nominated for two Oscar nominations. Not only is the plot tense and interesting, it also makes a lot of sense.
What is the movie about
Events take place in 2010. The only sign of that time is a modern SUV that quickly travels along the road. Everything else does not point to any specific time or place. The central characters in the film are women who live in a religious Mennonite colony. All of them are regularly raped while they sleep. They are specifically given cow tranquilizers to put them to sleep. Soon, women begin to guess what is happening to them. But finding the villains is not easy. Men all, as one, say that bruises and wounds on the body of women appear due to the deeds of the devil. After some time, they still manage to find the culprits. The police arrest them. Those who haven’t been picked up follow to post bail. Unhappy women have two days to figure out what to do next:
The meaning of the film
It may seem that the meaning of the film “Women Talking” lies on the surface. However, it is not. Women do not openly talk about their problems, but try to do it discreetly. They do this because they think men are eavesdropping on them. And talking about personal topics, especially about sex, is prohibited in the colony. Therefore, the main characters have to talk in secret from others.
The theme and the title of the film indicate that not all talk is meant for outsiders’ ears. Therefore, you have to talk only with your own: those women who can understand. Women still decide to leave the Mennonite colony, because they cannot forgive men. Their trust has been shattered and will never return. However, the heroines have to radically change their lifestyle. But it’s better than pretending nothing happened.
One of the main characters, Frances McDormand, refuses to leave the colony with the rest of the women. To some extent, she supports the patriarchal system and does not want to resist it. McDormand is so accustomed and resigned to her life that she does not want to resist it. And even more so to build a new life outside the community. She tries to convince some women. However, they do not agree with her.
At the beginning of the film, the audience is informed that everything that happens is nothing but a woman’s imagination. However, the plot itself is based on a real-life incident that occurred in 2009 in the Mennonite community in Bolivia. Then several women were raped by a group of men. The act of female imagination is presented in the form of reflections and the desire to leave. Despite the difficulties in building a new life, women still find the strength to resist violence. They want to be free and live without fear. Whatever the price, the heroines go to the last and fight for a better future.
Differences between the movie and the book
Not all adaptations can be called good. As for “Women Speak”, the creators managed to transfer the essence of the book to the screen. Some episodes were cut, but this does not change the general meaning.
Also in the film, the behavior of one of the heroes of the book, August, was changed. He appeared before the audience as a passive observer who sometimes expresses his opinion. Another character, Peters, the leader of the Mennonite colony, was not shown at all. Throughout the film, none of the women spoke his name.
There are no references to St. Augustine, who wrote the Confession, in the picture. But the book itself draws several parallels with this work. Including the name Augustus is a reference to St. Augustine. Also, in the film adaptation, the name Monica is not mentioned, as well as the story about pears. However, Augustine’s writing indirectly creates one of the storylines. This is especially true of the idea of a new life: a religion that includes love exclusively for God.
Why was August’s family excommunicated?
Mama Augusta decided to challenge the beliefs of the Mennonite colony. Instead of discussing everything with her, the men decided to excommunicate her and her family from the church. People were supposed to honor the community and follow the rules impeccably. Women were uneducated, and therefore did not have the right to express their opinion or disobedience at all.
After a while, August still had to return to the Mennonite colony to figure out what happened to his mother. In addition, there lived a girl who had long liked the guy. Ultimately, he decided to return for her sake to those people who mistreated his family. August is driven only by a deep feeling for his beloved. At the same time, he does not care whether they have a joint future or not.
Why is the movie difficult to watch?
It should be said right away that “The Women Speak” is a very important picture, but it is not intended for everyone. There are a lot of shocking scenes in there that can make you uncomfortable or trigger. There are gray tones in the picture, which indicate that evil has come into the world of women. The dialogues themselves, at times, drawn out, saturated with fear and despair.
The decision to leave women is not easy. A lot of time had to be spent on this. But you have to give credit to the filmmakers. They decided to take pity on the audience and did not show scenes of violence. However, its consequences run like a red thread throughout the film.
The film was nominated for two Oscars: Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. However, the film is unlikely to take the award, since the judges are mostly male. So it looks more like an act of consolation than a serious bid for victory.
Despite this, the film deserves to be heard and seen. But before watching, you should think carefully about whether the viewer can withstand such a heavy picture. This is an act of incredibly great female courage, which requires no less courage from the audience.
Movie ending explanation
The ending of the film says that it is necessary to fight against sexual violence and do everything in order to minimize such cases. And it does not matter what it is: small or large, group or single. It needs to be eradicated before it becomes firmly established in society. The painting “Women Talking” indicates that men who commit such a crime often go unpunished and are not held accountable for their actions.
The story is relevant and calls to think about important issues. She explores how women are perceived who are not afraid to report sexual violence. The film shows their internal struggle, limited opportunities and misunderstanding from others. The picture also indicates the nature of evil, its meaning and possible solutions to the problem. She will definitely not leave anyone indifferent. Such works cause a stir among the audience, indicate the problems of society, its disgusting side. But, at the same time, the picture makes it clear that everything can be changed if the people themselves want to fight, and do not continue to be silent and close their eyes.