Happening 2021

L’événement

Directed by Audrey Diwan Spotlight

Winner of the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival, Happening is a powerful and timely abortion drama, executed precisely by director Audrey Diwan.

Nov 24

Regent 3 Cinemas

Nov 25

Regent 3 Cinemas

France In French with English subtitles
100 minutes DCP
R16
sex scenes, nudity, cruelty & content that may disturb

Director

Cast

Anamaria Vartolomei
,
Kacey Mottet Klein
,
Luàna Bajrami
,
Louise Orry-Diquero
,
Louise Chevillotte
,
Pio Marmaï
,
Sandrine Bonnaire
,
Anna Mouglalis
,
Leonor Oberson
,
Fabrizio Rongione

Producers

Edouard Weil
,
Alice Girard

Screenplay

Audrey Diwan
,
Marcia Romano
,
Anne Berest. Based on the novel by Annie Ernaux

Cinematography

Laurent Tangy

Editor

Géraldine Mangenot

Music

Evgueni Galperine
,
Sacha Galperine

Festivals

Venice 2021

Awards

Best Film, Venice International Film Festival 2021

Elsewhere

Happening documents one woman’s efforts to arrange a termination and thereby continue with her studies. Adapted from Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel, the film plays its private trauma as a harrowing thriller, and showcases a superb performance from Anamaria Vartolomei as Anne Duchesne, the agonised student in the spotlight. We meet her spineless boyfriend only briefly; the man is all but incidental. Anne has to go through this ordeal on her own.

It’s April 1963. Abortion is illegal and means a prison term if you’re lucky, death if you’re not. But Anne’s period is now five weeks late and she’s increasingly desperate: failing her studies, too scared to confide in her friends. A supposedly sympathetic doctor prescribes a drug he assures her will induce a miscarriage but is in fact designed to further strengthen the foetus. Director Audrey Diwan keeps the camera in close as Anne pinwheels between cafes and the classes; the family home and the dorm. She’d love a child at some point but she wants a life and career first. The picture’s tight framing is like a noose around her neck...

Time is running out; Anne is nearly three months along. Outside the halls of residence, it’s the time of rock’n’roll and the nouvelle vague. But Happening depicts a France still eerily coloured by Nazi occupation, where the trade in illegal abortion has become the new army in the shadows, arranged via code names and whispered meetings in the park... It’s a serious, gripping and finally honourable film.” — Xan Brooks, The Guardian