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THE HANDMAID'S TALE

THE HANDMAID'S TALE

Volker Schlöndorff · USA/Germany · 1990 · 109 mins · R
IMDbRotten Tomatoes

HOW TO SURVIVE A DYSTOPIA

 

In Harold Pinter adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel right-wing religious fundamentalists have overthrown the government and established a repressive puritanical society called the Republic of Gilead. Natasha Richardson stars as Kate, who, after losing her husband and daughter while trying to escape to Canada, is captured and assigned to the household of Fred (Robert Duvall), a commander of the regime, and his barren wife (Faye Dunaway). After years of environmental catastrophes, most of the women in this society cannot bear children. Kate has tested fertile, so she is to be a "handmaid" — her sole task is to bear children for the commander.

Kate's allies, who are also suffering from the suppression of human rights, include a prostitute (Elizabeth McGovern), and the commander's chauffeur (Aidan Quinn).

Like George Orwell's 1984 and Doris Lessing's Memoirs of a Survivor, this work of speculative fiction presents a portrait of a future society and uses it to explore the consequences of present-day policies and developments. Anyone faintly concerned about environmental degradation, women's rights to control their own bodies, male chauvinism, censorship, public displays of violence, and procreation politics will find this film to be quite chilling. In addition, it reveals why freedom remains the most precious idea and ideal in the world.  –Spirituality and Practice
Uneven yet still gripping. Filmcritic.com
This film adaptation of Margaret Atwood's bestselling 1986 novel heralds freedom as a cherished ideal. Spirituality and Practice
Cast Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, Aidan Quinn
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