The Divine Order

January 17, 2018

The Divine Order, Switzerland’s submission for this year’s Oscar’s ‘Best Foreign Language Film’, opens with footage from the woman’s rights movement in America. Meanwhile, in Switzerland in 1971, women don’t have the right to vote, young girls deemed sexually promiscuous can be sent to jail by their parents and a wife can’t legally get a job without her husband’s consent.

Nora is a housewife who lives at the back and call of her husband. When he vetoes her decision to apply for work as a part-time secretary and her niece, Hanna, is criminally charge for fulfilling her sexuality, the wheels start to turn. Soon Nora is a full out activist, speaking truth to power and agitating for change. That action is all it takes for the women in her town to start to unite. The drama-comedy is balanced evenly on the women’s push for a countryside vote – the last of the industrialized nations to grant this freedom.

In its best parts, The Divine Order shows how one person can make a difference in very achievable ways. Nothing about Nora’s revolution is fancy and it mostly boils down to knowing a printer and speaking up.

“A film that cleverly navigates the contentions and tempers of women’s rights.” Julia Cooper, Globe and Mail.

Switzerland
English, Swiss, German and Italian with subtitles
Rated: PG
96 minutes
4 - 5:36 & 7 - 8:36

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