“Women Talking” is the latest movie directed and written by Sarah Polley and follows the story of women residing in a religious community who are forced to come along and decide whether they should stay and forgive or take up arms against the men who drug them and rape them at night. The movie features the likes of Rooney Mara as Ona and Claire Foy as Salome. Jessi Buckley as Mariche, Frances McDormand as Janz, Judith Ivey as Agatha, and more. Let’s dive into the detailed recap and explanation of the movie “Women Talking.”
The Choices Presented
Salome Friesen and the women of her religious colony were no strangers to waking with blood on their sheets, feeling hands that weren’t there, and often being told that it was the work of ghost or Satan, or were sometimes advised not to let their imagination run amok. But it was no ghost or Satan, but ordinary men. Salome caught one of them, forcing him to name the other perpetrators. The rapist, along with his companions, was taken to jail, and to everyone’s shock, the entire male population of the colony went to post bail.
As for women, they were given two days to forgive the men and, if they chose otherwise, would be ordered to leave the colony and be denied entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. Now women are faced with three choices: to forgive, fight, or leave. One of the old women suggested leaving the colony, but her opinion was rejected by other women of the colony who wished to stay and fight. Forgiveness is earned but not forced upon the helpless for the promise of entering heaven. The attacks continued, forcing Neitje’s mother to hang herself in the old barn.
The women enlisted the help of August and asked him to write and stick up the chart of pros and cons in the barn. Before continuing, the women discuss what the colony would be like if they fought and won. Loewen suggests that if they won, they’d have to make sure all the critical decisions should be taken collectively, girls will be taught to read and write, schools must have a map of the world, so the women can understand their place in the world to make sure their children are safe. The woman believes that they should have total authority over their decision and not be forced upon, as they were the ones who were drugged by cow tranquillisers, bruised, infected, and pregnant. One of the women became sick of her existence, turned himself into a man, and never said a word. The women are now questioning the power the men of the colony hold, which was the same reason why August and his mother were excommunicated from the colony. The woman learns that one of the men is returning to camp to fetch more money for the bail, informing everyone that time is of the essence. As for leaving, the woman would have the option to see the world but would be distanced from her brothers and sons. Some suggest that men can leave if they want, while others reject the idea as it would culminate in the same situation elsewhere. The debate made the women question their own faith in pacifism and the meaning of forgiveness they’ve been taught, and they’re forced upon.
Breaking Free From The Chains
At last, the woman makes preparations to leave after learning that Klass has arrived and decides to take the boys, who are only 12 or younger, to ensure the safety of women and kids. As per August, the boys in the camps are impulsive and will soon possess reckless urges and curiosity that often result in injury. They are too young to comprehend the consequences of their actions. But love, compassion, and faith can teach them their true roles in the colony. The group decided to increase the limit to 15, and those who need special care should accompany the women if they choose to, and asked August to teach the ones who stay behind. The women delivered the verdict to everyone in the camp, asking them to meet at the roadside by the washhouse. Unfortunately, one of the women is badly beaten by her husband after he notices the horse he was supposed to sell for the bail money is gone, making Loewen finally realise that leaving might be the best option. Unlike Leowen and Salome, there was still someone like Janz who believed that the most rational choice was to forgive the men, which is expected of them. Her faith was misdirected, and she felt the only way she was going to heaven was if she forgave those men. She also urged others to follow the same, stopping them from leaving, and believed that whatever was happening was God’s choice. On the other hand, Salome believed that the elders in the colony had used the fear and faith of the religion to force their needs and wants on the women.