Entertainment

L’Évènement, by Audrey Diwan, is released in the United States in the midst of a controversy over the right to abortion


Adapted from the autobiographical novel by Annie Ernaux, winner of the 2021 Golden Lion, the film is in theaters this week in American theaters.

France, 1963. Anne, a promising student, played by the Franco-Romanian actress Anamaria Vartolomei, decides to have a clandestine abortion to finish her studies and decide her future. Six months after its French release, The Event, film adaptation of the novel by Annie Ernaux, will be released on Friday May 6 in American theaters, while the question of the right to abortion is the subject of controversy in the country. Directed by Audrey Diwan, this thriller-like drama, awarded a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2021, tells a story that could well become that of thousands of American women in the coming months.

Review Politico revealed this week that the U.S. Supreme Court is working on legislation repealing “Roe v. Wade” which legalizes abortion. The release of the working copy sparked strong reactions across the country. If this decision were to materialize, the abortion legislation would then revert to the federated states.

SEE ALSO – Abortion: In the United States, Joe Biden fears that Republicans will seek to repeal other rights

“A grim omen of things to come”

It is in this tense political context that Audrey Diwan’s film will therefore make its debut in American cinemas, giving a very special resonance to the story of Anne, inspired by that of Annie Ernaux. If the costumes and the music make it possible to situate the film in the 60s, that is to say more than ten years before the legalization of abortion in France, The Event looks deliberately contemporary. “When I started thinking about making a film about this subject, everyone asked me why I wanted to do it at that time”explains Audrey Diwan to variety. ‘Now everyone tells me how timely he is’.

A timely character that the media across the Atlantic did not fail to highlight. “The frightening reality of 1963 France in The Event suddenly became, not a distant memory, but a grim omen of things to come.writes journalist Anne Thompson in the specialized media The IndieWire . An analysis shared by Martin Tsai for A.V. Club : “Audrey Diwan’s film is unlikely to sway or change anyone’s mind, but it faithfully captures a sadly timely picture of what a woman’s life can be like when abortion is banned.”

The United States is now suspended from a decision by the Supreme Court, which is composed of a majority of conservative judges, since the appointment of a figure of the religious right, Amy Coney Barette by Donald Trump. Does Audrey Diwan hope that her film will influence the decision of the Supreme Court, of which six of the nine members are men? “I would like to show them”, she explains. “It is difficult to intervene in this debate without knowing what concretely a clandestine abortion is. Whether we are for or against, if we do not know, these are only theoretical positions, she believes. Myself, before reading Annie Ernaux’s book, I too often took part in this discussion without knowing this reality. I was wrong.”

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