A Review of The Devine Order as Seen at Tallgrass Filmfest
Gloria Steinem was a national leader in the feminist movement in the United States in early 1971, while time stood still in Switzerland. Women famously gained the right to vote with the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920; women in Switzerland didn’t gain the right to vote until 1971.
The Divine Order, directed by Petre Volpe, explores this important moment in time.
I watched The Divine Order at the Wichita Art Museum for Tallgrass Film Fest Sunday afternoon. Every person attending was given a ballot to critique the film, and if I could have given the film more than a 5-star rating, I would have.
The movie is in Swiss German with English subtitles and is the first non-anime foreign film I’ve watched in years. Petre Volpe wrote and directed a powerful, emotional, and captivating cinematic work of art.
The film follows Nora, a doting housewife, and her own journey of women’s liberation. During the course of the movie, not only is she mocked and humiliated but so are her two sons and husband, for her believing in a woman’s right to vote.
After a rather disappointing informational meeting on women’s suffrage, Nora persists and convinces her fellow women in the village to go on strike. The Divine Order ends with women finally securing the right to vote, and resulted in giving myself goosebumps several times throughout the movie.
This movie is Switzerland’s Submission for the Academy Awards - Best Foreign Language Film. It’s also featured by Tallgrass Film Fest as one of the films directed by women. It may be 2017, but this movie shows just why women in filmmaking are so vital.
I’m upset that I was unable to make it to the Woke Women Filmmaking Panel that occurred Thursday night of Tallgrass Film Fest. Rose McGowan, known for many things, had canceled her appearance at that event. She didn’t just cancel that particular event, but all public appearances in lieu of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
I know that women’s rights have come a long way since both 1920, and 1971, but there is still a long fight ahead, and the scandal makes that clear. Why exactly are women in filmmaking so vital?
Take Wonder Woman, for example, we’ve had to plead and fight for a female-driven comic book hero movie, when there are so many wonderful female characters in the land of comics. Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman grossed over $800 million worldwide-- the first female-directed live-action movie to cross that threshold.
In case that wasn’t enough evidence, it’s also Warner Brother’s third highest grossing film, not adjusting for inflation, right behind Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight sequels. Women need representation. They needed it in 1971 Switzerland, and they still need it today, on and behind the screen.