- Director: Audrey Diwan
- Producer: Alice Girard, Edouard Weil
- Writer: Marcia Romano, Audrey Diwan, Annie Ernaux
- Release Date (Theaters): May 6, 2022, Limited
- Release Date (Streaming): Jun 21, 2022
- Runtime: 1h 40m
A Brief Info About Happening Movie
Today, Audrey Diwan’s brilliant “Happening” evokes a similar state of perplexity, albeit in the opposite direction. Although it is a period piece set in 1960s France, the difficulties that its desperate protagonist faces in obtaining an illegal and unsafe abortion could very well represent the new and frightening American future, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion rights and the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Diwan’s nuanced handling of the era contributes significantly to the film’s disorienting and timeless feel, which is achieved through an amazing creative grasp of the subject (which was adapted from Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel). Through understated production design elements, lived-in and repeating costumes (which are realistic for characters with limited financial means), and cinematographer Laurent Tangy’s clear-eyed and buttery lens, the agelessness Diwan aspires to immediately proves to be a wise stylistic choice for a subject and assertion that is relevant to any society, at any point in time.
This is how it is stated: “Women’s reproductive rights are perpetually fragile, and patriarchy’s insistence on controlling females’ chances outside of marriage and motherhood is the basis of this fragility.”
Anne, who is discreetly depressed, is brought to life by a magnificent Anamaria Vartolomei, who gives a softly towering performance. She is a middle-class literature student who aspires to have a long and fruitful career in her profession. But she is pregnant, and she is alone and without options. In 1963, were you able to work while being a mother? It’s not an option. An abortion, perhaps? In that French period, it was also impossible… Unless, of course, she can get a rapid and reliable tip on a rumored illegal abortionist and pray that the procedure is carried out by a medically qualified individual rather than a back-alley butcher.
Anne quickly realizes that her current circumstance is one of loneliness. There is no one she can confide in—in one of the many revealing passages in “Happening,” a friend of hers rushes to interrupt the conversation when the subject of abortion is brought up, completely unaware that Anne is pregnant.
The young girl’s hesitance is understandable. In that era, even the least whiff of suspicion could result in people losing their employment, academic affiliations, or even facing jail time. The doctors and professors who surround Anne are also under intense scrutiny, regardless of their differing levels of sympathy for her. One kind physician, despite the fact that he is one of the more understanding ones, refuses to assist her out of fear. I’m not going to tell you what happens to her because I don’t want to ruin your enjoyment of the suspense Diwan has painstakingly crafted for you.