HAPPENING – Review by Martha K Baker

Watch Anamaria Vartolomei’s face. From start to finish of the tense thriller, Happening, Vartolomei portrays the many moods of her character. Anne is a bright student (her mother thinks she’s gifted, of course), who finds herself in what used to be called, “the family way.” The country is France and the decade is the Sixties, and Anne is in deep trouble. Happening is a canny film, written by Marcia Romano and director Audrey Diwan. They based the script on Annie Ernaux’s novel of her experience as a young woman seeking to end her pregnancy at a time when doing so, or helping, or thinking about helping, is criminal.

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HAPPENING – Review by Lois Alter Mark

If there was ever a movie meant for this particular time in history, this is the one. The winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Audrey Diwan’s Happening is a quietly devastating look at what happens when abortion is illegal. The fact that it’s coincidentally being released in the U.S. the same week a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion revealed that Roe v. Wade is on the verge of being overturned feels like it should be taken as a sign. And, more importantly, a wake-up call.

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HAPPENING – Review by Jennifer Green

Happening (L’Evénément) is a riveting film, from start to finish. The story about a young woman who finds herself unintentionally pregnant in 1960s France, a time and place where abortions were illegal, is universal and powerful, at once heartbreaking and liberating. Sixty years have passed since that era, yet the film holds powerful messages today in the face of pushback on women’s reproductive rights. The film is based on the semi-autobiographical book by Annie Ernaux.

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Despite Progress, Europe’s Film Industry Struggles with Gender Equality – Jennifer Green reports

The European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) reports that women represented fewer than one out of four film directors in Europe (23%) between 2016 and 2020. Females made up slightly more producers (33%) and screenwriters (27%), but struggled to have a significant presence in technical positions like cinematographers (10%) and composers (9%). Women directed fewer films than men and were less likely to be sole directors of feature films than their male counterparts. Female producers were involved in 44% of European feature films (alone or in teams), but on average women tended to produce slightly fewer films than men. Women also made up less than half (39%) of lead roles. The Paris-based “Femmes de cinema” Lab initiative’s 2021 study shows that “on average and even today, women are less paid, less subsidized, less programmed than men, and female characters are still too often poor or stereotypical.”

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