Women Talking

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BBFC Ratingf-rated FilmWomen Talking

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Director(s)Sarah Polley
Writer(s)Sarah Polley, Miriam Toews
Running Time1HR 44MINS
SeasonMain Programme

Sarah Polley (Stories We Tell) is joined by a stellar cast for this stylish and ambitiously conceived adaptation of Miriam Toews’ bestseller about abuse and solidarity. Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture at this year's Oscars.

In a remote Mennonite community, women have been waking from sleep bruised and battered, some are pregnant. Religious leaders argue it’s God’s punishment for their sins. But when one wakes to find an attacker in her room, the horrible truth comes out. In a sunlit barn, the women debate: will they stay, as is expected, and forgive their attackers? Fury, fear, resignation, obedience, hope – each woman, though dressed alike in the unadorned style of the community, expresses a different view.

Polley’s direction is perfectly calibrated and precise, with the flow of speech choreographed, and delivered like a dance by her gifted cast (Frances McDormand, Jessie Buckley, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, to name a few). Despite their lack of formal education, the women are sharply articulate; big ideas, explored in intimate spaces. And while their experience is culturally specific, the film speaks universally.

Text by Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival

Content warning: sexual violence references, sexual threat, domestic abuse. See the BBFC website for more information.

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