Saturday, January 30, 2016

691. De stilte rond Christine M.

De stilte rond Christine M.
A Question of Silence
Directed by Marleen Gorris

I have so many thoughts about this film that I apologize if I come across as a bit muddled.  I have been going into movies blind lately, without reading any kind of description of their plot beforehand.  I had no idea what this film was going to be about and I am pretty sure I watched most of it with jaw on the ground.  It was probably really attractive.

Three women who have never met before brutally kill a male shopkeeper, while several other females watch impassively.  A psychiatrist (also a woman) tries to ascertain whether or not the murderers were sane or not for their upcoming trial.

I have complained constantly on this blog about the treatment of women in film.  I can't help it; so many classic movies contain absolutely brutal acts of violence against women (not to mention the lack of representation).  Then we have a movie like this come along that is just so shocking and extreme.  Maybe we needed to see something this jolting after decades of silence.

Maybe not.  I know a lot of men are up in arms about this film.  I watched it on YouTube and one commentator accused anyone who liked this movie of being men haters with penis envy.  Funny that the same brutal criticism isn't given to men who like "A Clockwork Orange" or "Irreversible" for example.  Anyway, I am not saying I condone the act these women commit.  I actually feel a bit like the psychiatrist.  She doesn't necessarily approve of these women but she naturally finds herself opposed to the women's persecutors (and, in this case, prosecutors).

Definitely a film I will have to turn over in my mind for awhile.  The courtroom scene is truly unforgettable.  And what about when the prosecutor urges the psychiatrist to be objective and she replies, "And by objective, you mean your opinion?" What a boss.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Won the Grand Prix at the Creteil International Women's Film Festival.


  1. I've been a waiting for you to get to this one to see what you have to say about it.
    I find it sad that this film splits people so dramatically along gender lines. Such polarisation is not healthy, so I regret I end up on the predictable dividing line.
    I think, for me, the nail in the coffin was the end scene where they go off laughing with delight about what they had done .. and the audience is obviously invited to celebrate along with them.

  2. Creepy to say the least. I felt like in the last scene the women were descending into hell (or less dramatically, going down the steps) with all of womankind's blessing. Creepy creeps.

  3. Ohhh .. interesting idea! I've not see that suggested elsewhere. I'm afraid I doubt it .. which is a shame, I'd very much like to believe it.

  4. Well, actually the film does not set up the lines, they are there already.

    They are there when a woman's opinion is ignored at work and they are there when a female expert is not deemed able to pronounce an objective opinion on a woman - when this does not happen with a male expert assessing another man. Just to point out two examples out of the film.

    The movie only displays the lines for everyone to see. The only reason most men do not notice those lines more often is because they do not have to deal with them every day.

    It is worth to be noticed that the picture does not condone the murder. Quite the contrary, its whole purpose is to proof that the murderers are perfectly sane and that they can be judged and sent to jail. But surprisingly it's the prosecutor who is trying to absolve them on the base of insanity. The only reason he could do that is because he has a tendency to think that women can't act rationally. They are like children. They can't be held responsible for their acts. That's the final joke, by the way. He says that he would have acted the same; if a man had killed a woman. No sir, that would not be the case. In that scenario, he would act as a real prosecutor and ask for the maximum sentence possible. As Amanda says it's the final straw and they laugh to keep from crying.

    1. Yeah it's crazy. Even well meaning men in my life don't always realize the extent of the privilege.