Audrey Diwan’s film is everywhere: Golden Lion in Venice, awarded at the Saint-Jean de Luz and Le Croisic Festivals, The event is also presented at the Sarlat festival. There is no doubt that this harsh and striking film, adapted from the novel by Annie Ernaux, will touch the high school audience, who will discover what a leaden cover restrained sexuality in the 1960s.
Anne Duchêne (Anamaria Vartolomei), a literature student, shows good dispositions. From a very modest background, she knows that it takes hard work to be successful in entering college. The film opens with a student party scene, 1960s music swinging, bodies looking for each other. Anne and her friends have put on some provocative new bras for the occasion. But they will only flirt. In those years, the desire to go further is necessarily contained, haunted by the risk of becoming pregnant. The excitement and frustration are noticeable, in equal parts.
The late period pushes Anne to see a doctor, who confirms her pregnancy. Immediately, it is the fear, the refusal which animates the young girl. To have a child, in the condition in which it is, means purely and simply to put aside its chances of success. There is no question. Audrey Diwan films, as close as possible to the bodies, Anne’s determined and valiant race to have an abortion. Forbidden, clandestine abortion, expensive and very risky, was punished with a prison sentence, for the abortionist as for the patient. No established doctor is willing to help him. One of them even dismissed her from his office with contempt. The tight shots put us, spectators, behind Anne’s back, who knows her time is running out and moving forward, no matter what.
Audrey Diwan makes us aware of Anne’s loneliness, who cannot confide in anyone. Neither her friends, nor her parents, nor her teachers could understand her and help her. Heavy, silence becomes almost a character in its own right. However, at one point, we have to talk. Each time Anne dares to confide in herself, the reactions to her face are astounded by their cowardice or their violence.
Very oppressive, the film makes us feel the vibrations of Anne’s body, the changes of which are imposed on her. Eating in secret, experiencing surges of desire, feeling pain, all these manifestations only strengthen his determination to act as quickly as possible. The repeated attempts to abort are shown crudely.
Around Anamaria Vartolomei, that the camera does not let go, Kacey Mottet-Klein (The child from above by Ursula Meier, When we were 17 years old by André Téchiné), Anna mouglalis, Louise Chevillotte (The lover for a day and The salt of tears by Philippe Garrel), Sandrine Bonnaire, Fabrizio Rongione (fetish actor of the Dardenne brothers) excels in ambivalent roles. Audrey Diwan’s approach is often reminiscent of that of the Dardenne brothers.
In today’s society, remembering that women’s rights have not always existed is absolutely necessary. On the same theme, the beautiful Romanian film 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days of Cristian Mungiu, had obtained the Palme d’Or. The impression of a race against time, of loneliness (even if the heroine was supported by her sister), the violence of an absurd and oppressive system were there just as well.
The movieAudrey Diwan is promised a great career, very deserved. Note that, this year, the novel Simple passion ofAnnie ernaux has also been adapted, by Danielle Arbid, with a magnificent Laetitia Dosch. We highly recommend that you see it as well.
The event by Audrey Diwan, 1h40, France, with Anamaria Vartolomei, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Luana Bajrami, Louise Orry-Diquero, Louise Chevillotte, Sandrine Bonnaire, Fabrizio Rongione, Pio Marmaï, Anna Mouglalis. Released on November 24, 2021.
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Sarlat Festival: Audrey Diwan’s “The Event”, a film closer to the body – Toutelaculture