Monday, March 09, 2015

Women and movies

 Femmes et Toiles 2015, the annual Argelès women's film festival.

Films, discussions, exhibitions, meals are all part of the film festival this year. I found Difret especially moving not just as a study on women's lives being worthless in some places but in how cultural differences are so hard to overcome. The look into different classes of Ethiopian life, food, scenery was just a plus. The French subtitles made it easy for Rick to understand. The review is from the Sundance festival and it has appeared at other film festivals. read more here.

"Three hours outside of Addis Ababa, a bright 14-year-old girl is on her way home from school when men on horses swoop in and kidnap her. The brave Hirut grabs a rifle and tries to escape, but ends up shooting her would-be husband. In her village, the practice of abduction into marriage is common and one of Ethiopia's oldest traditions. Meaza Ashenafi, an empowered and tenacious young lawyer, arrives from the city to represent Hirut and argue that she acted in self-defense. Meaza boldly embarks on a collision course between enforcing civil authority and abiding by customary law, risking the continuing work of her women's legal-aid practice to save Hirut's life."

Sally Field may have morphed into Mrs. Lincoln, Nora Walker and many other characters, but her early role as Norma Rae, showed her as much more than a cute Gidget while calling attention to the need of unions. I thought the film would be dubbed, but  it was VO. Sadly, it is as relevant to today as it was when it was made.

Argelès in many ways is a dinky little French village, but to produce several good film festivals a year in a theatre 64 steps from my door...? I can't ask for more.

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