Part of the AGNES VARDA FILM SEASON
|Language:||French with English Subtitles|
"This film is about the fight for contraception, and for women’s sexual and corporal freedom." – A. Varda.
The film follows the lives of two women, and how their lives evolve, in the context of the revolutionary changes that were happening for women and sexual freedom at the time.
In 1962, Pauline, a 17 year old student, dreams about leaving her family to become a singer. She meets Suzanne, a young woman pregnant with her third child,but who wishes to abort. Pauline helps her to find the money for the abortion.
They then lose touch, and their lives evolve separately and differently. 10 years later, they meet again…
This film has to be taken as part of a wider historical context: in 1975, the law legalising abortion was voted in France, making radical changes to women's lives and to society.
In the film, the lawyer Gisele Halimi plays her own role: she is one of the women who helped the most towards the legalisation of abortion, through her work in the court case that started the whole abortion debate in France: the Bobigny Court Case.
BOBIGNY COURT CASE
The Bobigny Court Case was a major historical case, and took place in 1972. The case involved 5 women: a 16 year-old girl, her mum, and 3 other women were arrested, because they helped the girl to abort, when she got pregnant after being raped.
They were going to be sentenced to jail, but they then contacted the famous lawyer Gisele Halimi to defend them, and the court case sparked national debate, involving the media and street protests, with slogans such as "the rich go to the UK, the poor go to jail".
In the end the defense won, and the women did not go to jail.
The film talks about the issues that arose in the public debate at the time, and about the consequences that that court case had on the lives of women.
We'll be honest - the film got mixed reviews at its release, and has been accused of being "doctrinaire". However, it is generally seen now as a film that is historically important, in the way it shows the history of women and of feminism, at a very significant period of history.
Agnes Varda, French film director born in 1928, is one of the most celebrated female directors in the history of cinema.
Discreet, humble, intelligent, confident and origianl all at once, she is impossible to classify or categorise. "Varda is very much her own creation" (Sight and Sound).
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12 Nov 2009, 7:30 p.m.
A milestone in the history of cinema.
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19 Nov 2009, 7:30 p.m.
A harsh film that stunned audiences at its release, and won numerous prestigious international awards.
26 Nov 2009, 7:30 p.m.
This is one of the best documentaries ever – mostly because it doesn’t try to be one.