Swiss women had to wait until 1971 to be able to vote and 1985 to open a bank account in their own name.
Married men were legally able to prevent a wife working outside their home or sign a contract for an apartment. It would seem that would be against “the divine order of God”.
Nora (beautifully played by Marie Leuenberger) lives with her husband Hans (Maximillian Simonischek “The Love of her Life”), has two children and a miserable demanding father-in-law. She spends her days in the same way as the other women in this backwater alpine village: cooking and cleaning. However she becomes interested in applying for a part time job.
Hans refuses to let her work. “I don’t want my sons eating tinned ravioli,” he says. She gradually changes her views from, “I don’t need to be liberated”, to becoming an advocate for women’s suffrage.
With Vroni (Sibylie Brunners) a cigar-smoking, older campaigner and Graziella (Marta Zoffoli) a newly arrived Italian divorcee, she starts a campaign for the vote with posters and flyers. A meeting is called – but the townspeople do not want change. The women who are there with their men are silent.
Four women attend a demonstration in Zurich which culminates in a “Love Your Vagina” workshop involving pictures and mirrors which is hosted by an outgoing happy hippy, which is a revelation.
Eventually the village women band together and go on strike. They leave their homes and move into a restaurant owned by Graziella.
Directed and written by Petra Volpe this fictional drama/comedy is an entertaining humorous story of female empowerment and exposes the absurdity of the laws.
It demonstrates that a few dedicated people can make change happen.
The film is timely given the messages coming from #MeToo, and the last of Perth Festival Lottery West Season.
92 Minutes. Spoken in Swiss German with English sub-titles.
The Divine Order is showing at ECU Joondalup Pines from 3 – 8 April, and UWA Somerville from 9 – 15 April.
Watch the trailer…