It is stunning what you learn watching movies. For instance, in The divine order, the new film from Switzerland, you are told that women did not have the right to vote until 1971. This historical event is seen through the fictional story of Nora (Marie Leuenberger), a woman living in a small village with her husband Hans (Max Simonischek), her two boys and her taciturn father-in-law. Nora cleans and cooks for all of them without getting any help. When she tells Hans that she would like to get a job, he refuses, claiming that the law says it is his right. And it was. Everywhere in the village Nora sees that women are taken for granted and are treated unfairly by unjust laws. Soon she gets involved with the local suffragette movement working towards the upcoming referendum that could grant women the right to vote. Coming along with her is Vroni (Sibylle Brunner), a feisty elderly woman, and Nora’ sister-in-law Theresa (Rachel Braunschweig). Together they march in a protest and, in the funniest scene in the film, attend a hippie yoga session in which they are told to “love your vagina”. With the help of a mirror, each women have to look at their vagina and name what animal it looks like (“butterfly”, “bunny” or “tiger”). They come away from the experience with greater sexual awareness. That’s where Nora discover that she never had an orgasm. After being ridiculed by the men of the village and by Frau Dr. Charlotte Wipf (Therese Affolter), leader of the social club, the women leave their family and go on strike. I see no reason not to recommend this film. It is well conceived and directed by Petra Volpe. The three main actresses (Leuenberger, Brunner and Braunschweig) are excellent, as is the whole cast. And the topic is so interesting. It’s a story that has never been told.
The divine order (Die göttliche ordnung)
In Swiss German and Italian with English subtitles.