7:30 PM, 23rd June, 2022
In 1963 France, 23-year-old Anne (Anamaria Vartolomei) is a bright young student with designs on an extended academic career – all of which is put in jeopardy when she discovers that she’s unexpectedly pregnant. Determined to do something about it, Anne is dismayed to find her options strictly limited, with significant prison time awaiting anyone found undergoing, executing or even enabling an abortion. As her pregnancy progresses, Anne finds herself forced to navigate the underground world of clandestine abortions.
Adapting Annie Ernaux’s semi-autobiographical novel, Happening is a startling and all-too-timely reminder that the battle for women’s reproductive rights is far from over nearly 60 years on. Premiering at last year’s Venice International Film Festival where it won the festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, this is a tough but rewarding watch – with several particularly visceral scenes that earn the film its ‘R’ rating.