Two feminist films: Annie Colère, Blandine Lenoir and She Said, Maria Schrader
Annie Anger, By Blandine Lenoir French movie, 1 hour 59 minutes, released on November 30, 2022
he said By Maria Schrader American movie, 2 h 09 min, released on November 24, 2022
At the end of 2022, two action films by female directors – one French, the other American – were released. They take back two important points in the feminist struggle. These are “Annie Colère” and “She Said”.
Annie Anger takes us (back) to a whole era, to 1974, before the decriminalization of abortion, when women used knitting needles and were called prostitutes if they came to the hospital for a curettage… Annie already has two children. She no longer sees herself as a mother, in diapers, and waking up at night. He works in a factory, he is not an active… “All these political affairs are not for me”, he says. She decides to have an abortion. By pressing the door of the bookstore, his life will change. He meets MLAC (the movement for the freedom of abortion and contraception), its militants, and the militants who, in the eyes of everyone, make illegal abortions.
The battle for abortion rights in 1974
There, Annie discovers the commitment during the battle for abortion legislation, the endless debates among activists, in which Annie had little to begin with. Gradually, through collective struggle, his self-confidence grows. So he taught himself to practice this Karman method. This movie is an ode to sorority. Great portraits of women who find support and mutual aid in this collective. Very moving moments like when Monique sings a Greek lullaby to Annie in one of the first abortion sequences. The intense listening moments between the women to hear the news of the husband refusing the pill (sometimes it makes him cold…), the young girl who was raped, the one who was abandoned.
This film also deals with the never-ending struggle of women to shed their bodies. A law on the voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG), Giscard was forced to introduce to parliament to buy public peace. An episode becomes very enlightening towards the end when the questions arise: so what do we do now? Should we continue these abortions to earn more? The law was passed, but with limitations (conscience clause, limited time, rights and costs not open to foreigners and minors without parental consent) and allowing the medical profession (mostly men at the time) to regain power over women’s bodies. At MLAC, by contrast, abortions were performed by activists, often women who were not from the medical profession.
Annie is Laure Calamy, a formidable actress who gives life to this working woman who is transformed, flourishes and finds new meaning in her life in the collective struggle. After meeting MLAC, Annie rediscovers her whole life, social and personal. The route of feminist consciousness, the story of emancipation!
Giving a voice to victims of abuse in Hollywood
Another time, another place. October 2017, in the United States. The shock wave of MeToo started with the publication of an article New York TimesAbout Harvey Weinstein, the predator in Hollywood.
He said is a film by German director Maria Schrader – we owe her a great series Unusual – adapted from the book, which follows the long and difficult investigation by two female journalists, Jodi Cantor and Megan Twehey, that brought down the producer. Rape and sexual assault have been covered up by the Hollywood system for three decades, with massive vetting and obnoxious non-disclosure agreements to keep victims quiet. However, they will manage to break the omertà on actions recognized by an entire section of the cinematographic industry.
Explaining violence without showing it
But how to dramatize sexual violence? Movie responds, not displayed. On the other hand, we see the faces of the victims full of memories and listen to their words as much as their silence. The impossibility of being able to tell is shown, their pain and their incredible courage to dare to condemn the aggressor.
He said It is not only a long study of sexual violence, but also an interesting story about women, their courage and life circumstances, whether they are journalists or victims. They are also mothers and wives, and they all have to deal with their professional and personal lives (motherhood, postpartum depression, plain sexism…).
During a moving scene, one of the victims recounts what happened on a London night two decades ago. A woman is simply listening to another woman. Big sisterhood moment.
So, if you haven’t seen them yet, rush to see these two films that address two important points in the feminist struggle. Led by Annie, Megan, Jodi and other women, it’s our job to end a system that protects the dominant and the aggressor!