FEMINIST FRIDAY: 3 Must-See Female-Driven Films At The Toronto International Film Festival

Welcome to a special edition of our weekly Feminist Friday column – that part of our week where we take moment to share 3 of our fave feminist videos of the moment. This week we’re dedicated this space to a handful of films premiering at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The festival runs from September 6-16. Since we’re all about championing the female gaze in film, and the work of women behind the camera, we’re thrilled to see such a great range of stories from around the world at this year’s festival.

The first is a feminist zombie apocalypse thriller called ‘Endzeit‘ from director Carolina Hellsgård, hailing from Germany. ‘Endzeit’ follows two young women, Vivi and Eva, who are involuntarily forced to join forced. While fighting against the undead, they must also confront the demons of their past. With women in every major creative role, Endzeit’ is a different kind of zombie movie. Set during a terrifying near-future zombie apocalypse, Carolina Hellsgård’s sophomore feature is chilling and doomladen, but it’s also a transfixing, gorgeous, and unusually intimate sort-of road movie — in which humanity has come to its end and nature is reclaiming its terrain.

Watch the trailer below:

The second film comes with a trigger warning for drug use and sexual abuse. ‘Let Me Fall’ is a film from director Baldvin Z, and is a German/Icelandic/Finland co-production. Drawing on true stories and interviews with the families of addicts, this harrowing portrait of addiction follows Stella and Magnea through the decades as precarious teenage years morph into perilous adulthoods.

Told over several decades, ‘Let Me Fall’ focuses on Magnea’s lengthy struggle with addiction, a condition she is lured into as a teenager by hip, assured Stella, Magnea’s soulmate and nemesis. The film’s fractured narrative style, which bounces from present to past and back again, takes us inside the traumatic experiences leading to Magnea’s dire straits. The effect is nothing less than heartbreaking.

Few portraits of addiction and failed friendship are as devastating as ‘Let Me Fall’, which shows in chilling detail how the vulnerable are preyed upon, particularly by those hiding behind religion. Based on true stories and interviews with the families of addicts, ‘Let Me Fall’ was also inspired by the 1980s hit Christiane F’. Its unflinching view of addiction makes it one of those rare films that transcends its source material.

The final TIFF premiere we want to showcase comes from Canada. ‘Les Salopes or The Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin’, from director Renée Beaulieu, follows the story of Marie-Claire who is happily married with two children and has a successful career as a dermatological researcher. Her promiscuous and fun-loving best friend Mathilde longs to settle down and have a child. For Marie-Claire, however, the love and security of marriage does not mean sacrificing her desire. She pursues men with the same voracity as her single friend but sets practical boundaries to keep extramarital sex without strings.

Marie-Claire is frank and pragmatic about the distinction between love and desire. She understands the conventions of being a wife and mother and chooses to live outside of them without remorse. When a scandal goes public at her university, Marie-Claire is concerned about what might be revealed about herself in the process, and she is forced to consider the implications of her choices on her professional life, husband, and teenage daughter.

Renée Beaulieu’s second feature is an astonishing tour de force and incisive character study that delves into the nature and politics of female sexuality. Brigitte Poupart’s commanding and unwavering performance as Marie-Claire brilliantly renders the interior space of a woman who lives on her own terms as she explores the multi-faceted manifestations of her desire.

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment

  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: A Collection Of Female Badassery That Is Giving Us LIFE Right Now! - GirlTalkHQ

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