What does being a woman really mean? How do women live the status society reserves for them? To such questions posed by a television station, a group of women filmmakers, beautiful or not, young or not, gifted with motherly instinct or not, answer before Agnès Varda’s camera.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
This is a fantastic short film of a past generation's feminism. The short gets the message across while still holding true to the 70's New Way aesthetic. Any individual could benefit from watching, as women are still fighting for these very same rights: Not to be sexualized in every way, shape and form, and not to be treated any less than a male in society.
Agnes Varda is great! When we speak of the "Nouvelle Vague", she needs to be included, not just the men. La Pointe Courte (1954) was the first "Nouvelle Vague" film! All of her films are either very good, or superb.
If Varda's features can be said to hide her politics behind engrossing narratives, her short work lays them bare, which is why I find them harder to engage with. In this short, Varda examines second wave feminism through creative images and cogent arguments. As a person viewing in 2019, the gaps are self-evident (lack of people of colour, trans) but that doesn't make it any less vital. The bit about nudity is great.
This is as simple as it is beautiful. This short feminist manifesto is filled with great moments and visual choices - although I think it comes across a little bland. These women are really connected with the idea - and the men are so fake inside their thing it works.
At first, OK, I was like totally happy with the naked woman, but then, like, there were all these women being all judgmental and looking at me like I was thinking the wrong thoughts, OK. I didn't know what anyone was saying specifically, because they had French accents and stuff. Every once in a while I got to see more naked ladies which was OK. Luckily it was over in 8 minutes and I got credit for it, OK.
If I had to guess at the purpose of a 'cine-leaflet', I'd say this one was direct and effective. Difficult, in 2015, to appreciate its content, though, as anything but an anthropological relic; most of what's presented (white, privileged, hetero- and cis- normative...) is pretty problematic. But I guess my ignorance of historical context just shows how many 2nd wave gains I take for granted. So... thanks Varda!
So beautiful and strong. And what feminism did bring new and kept contributing: women talking about themselves, expressing their own reality, their desires and views, owning their bodies, sexuality and politics. Deciding, dreaming. Not just setling for what men designed for them. So sweet and eloquent that segment with two women, both calm, firm and afirmative: "one, I want to have children, the other, I do not".