‘We’re Part of the Movement’: Sarah Polley on Making ‘Women Talking’

TORONTO – In a career that has taken her from child actor to director, Canadian filmmaker Sarah Polley has spent enough time on set to feel the standard rhythm of the scene.

But there’s something different about the production of the woman-led “Women Talking,” Polley said of the first film she’s directed in more than a decade.

Missions that normally take 45 minutes, she recalls, would be carried out in seven minutes, with crew members holding contests to see who could help set up the shot the fastest.

From the stars to the celebrities, everyone on the call sheet seemed to be inspired by a sense of collective mission, beyond just scoring one more point, says Polley. their resume.

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Polley said in an interview after the world premiere of “Women Talking” at the Toronto International Film Festival this week.

“There is something essential that we feel is a conversation that should be part of our world, and we want to be a part of it with every part of who we are.”

Adapted from the 2018 novel of the same name by Manitoba author Miriam Toews, “Women Talking” centers on a small group of Mennonite women who meet in a haystack to discuss how to deal with sexual assault. educated by men in their distant religious colony.

Rooney Mara, Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley are part of the team that writhed this intense debate, grappling with questions of faith, forgiveness, justice and healing as they determine if women in Should the community stay and fight or pack up and leave.

Many of their arguments echo the broader discourse of sexual violence that has raged since the #MeToo movement.

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Polley said this was an issue that resonated personally with many of the people involved in the production, some of whom shared their views to help shape everything from the script to the blocking of a movie. scene.

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“We’re having that conversation going all the time, and that’s definitely coming to the movie,” said Polley, whose previous director credits include “Take This Waltz” year 2011 and “Away from Her” in 2006.

“Women Talking” star and producer Frances McDormand described the cast and crew behind the film as “a matriarchal production team.”

In the male-dominated film industry, Polley said she’s grateful for the opportunity to work with so many talented women, but noted that people of all genders have helped bring the series’ conversation to life. movies on the big screen.

“Everyone on the cast and crew came to this in a generous spirit,” she said. “It’s not just the women on set who want to bring back their experiences of abuse and feeling powerless, and get over it and build a better life and hopefully a better world.”

“Women Talking” is scheduled to hit theaters on December 2.

© 2022 Canadian Press

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