During the marijuana bonanza, a violent decade that saw the origins of drug trafficking in Colombia, Rapayet and his indigenous family get involved in a war to control the business that ends up destroying their lives and their culture.
Three actresses at different stages of their career. One from before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, one popular star of today known throughout the country and a young girl longing to attend a drama conservatory.
Chela and Chiquita are both descended from wealthy families in Asunción and have been together for over 30 years. But recently, their financial situation has worsened and they begin selling... See full summary »
Laura, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her two children to attend her sister's wedding. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open.
Halla, a woman in her forties, declares war on the local aluminum industry to prevent it from disfiguring her country. She risks all she has to protect the highlands of Iceland-but the situation could change with the unexpected arrival of a small orphan in her life.Written by
Hugo Van Herpe
an intelligent heroine in an absurdist eco-thriller
Recent movie offerings are over-full of fantasy super-heroines with powers way beyond mortal men: over-hyped and over-sexualised inventions for new-age feminists and the male gaze. In this context of tired cliché's, it is refreshing to find an original approach to the empowerment of women. The Icelandic absurdist eco-thriller Woman at War(2018) is such a film.
The opening scene is a classic Robin Hood trope: framed in profile with arrow fully drawn on a rugged landscape, a female huntress is about to rob the rich and give to the poor. The arrow short-circuits power lines and shuts down a smelter. Popular village choir-leader Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) is an unlikely eco-terrorist who sees local industry expansion as environmental vandalism. She systematically takes down more power lines until the government mounts a full-scale investigation into what it believes is industrial sabotage by overseas interests. Narrowly avoiding detection, Halla is suddenly informed that her years of waiting to adopt a child from war-torn Ukraine is successful.
This unusual but uncomplicated plotline is not what makes Woman at Warstand out from other tree-hugging environmental awareness films. Beautifully photographed against magnificent landscapes, the film cleverly breaks through the 'fourth wall' of cinema by having a three-piece band and a choral folk trio incongruously provide the film's diegetic soundtrack. The concept of 'fourth wall' refers to the imaginary bubble that traditionally separates actors and audience. In this case, the musicians are not playing for Hella, they are playing directly to us. We are as much the subject as what we are observing on screen, and it is 'we' who are invited to take a stand on the existential threats posed by human-caused environmental degradation. If an ordinary woman like Halla can rise to the challenge, so can we.
Another way this film stands out is how it balances and integrates several competing femininity stereotypes. Halla teaches singing for the joy of music and is a ruthless industrial saboteur. She is passionately committed to saving the environment but must stay clear of the law if she is to satisfy her deep yearning for motherhood. Strong, defiant, politically aware, she is soft, vulnerable and loving. When the noose tightens on her eco-terrorism, her hippy identical twin sister steps in for a plot twist that takes the story to its ironic finale: a biblical allusion to humanity's march towards the promised land.
Both absurdism and intelligent humour seeps into every part of this film and the ever-present band and singers are constant counterpoints to the stark reality and danger in what Halla is doing. She is an androgynous heroine, totally devoid of feminine conceits, single-minded, yet quintessentially a woman. Viewers will walk out of this with a variety of lingering thoughts; that is the mark of a good film.
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