By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
One of the best movies of 2022 is director/screenwriter Sarah Polley's
riveting drama, "Women Talking."
The movie is inspired by real-life events and adapted from Miriam Toews 2018 novel of the same name.
"Women Talking" is an incredible story about an ultraconservative, religious group of women and young girls in Bolivia who were sexually abused by men in the community over the course of several years. The men drugged the women with animal tranquilizer and raped them as they slept.
It took years before the crimes were reported. Some of the men were sent to prison, but the women were left in the horrific position of determining what to do next. Should they forgive and forget and do nothing? Stay in their close-knit community and fight for their freedom and dignity or leave?
One particular group of women were determined to seriously consider the impact their decision would have on them moving forward. They included: Agata (Judith Ivey, "The Accidental Wolf"), the oldest of the bunch, her two daughters, Ona (Rooney Mara, "Side Effects") and Salome (Claire Foy, TV's "The Crown"), Salome’s niece, Neitje (Liv McNeil, "Numb") Greta (Sheila McCarthy, "Christmas in Rockwell"), along with her daughters, Mariche (Jessie Buckley, "I'm Thinking of Ending Things"), Mejal (Michelle McLeod, “My Spy" ), and Mariche’s daughter, Autje (Kate Hallett, "Christmas in Rockwell").
Not everyone was on the same page about what to do. The conversations were testy and heated especially when the women discover that their daughters were abused as well.
Still, others like family matriarch, Scarface Janz (Frances McDormand, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri") insist on the women staying and carrying on with their lives. She believes that the men should be forgiven, despite many of them claiming the incidents were merely wild figments of the women's imaginations.
The only man they could trust, was a young schoolteacher and farmer named August (an excellent Ben Whishaw, TV's "This is Going to Hurt"). August took minutes at the meetings for them. He listened to the women and offered his advice on what would be best for them to do. August also desperately wanted to marry Ona (Mara) and teach her how to read and write. However, that wasn't in the cards.
"Women Talking," is a gripping film with a stellar cast that shines and brings to life a dynamic, timely and important story.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.
Look At This Trailer For "WOMEN TALKING"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.