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  • Writer's pictureJack Aling

Happening - Review (Sundance Film Festival 2022)

You Have No Choice. 4 / 5

Directed by Audrey Diwan.

Happening follows Annie, a bright young student who faces an unwanted pregnancy while abortion was still illegal in 1960s France.

Audrey Diwan's Happening is a daring and bold piece that tackles a difficult subject without ever backing down, forcing you to sit in its discomfort.

Based on Annie Ernaux’s novel, Anamaria Vartolomei becomes unexpectedly pregnant in 1960s France where the option of abortion was still illegal. What follows is a tough but important journey of denial and hope as she tries to figure out the best route for herself. As the weeks go on, the anxiety grows that is only extenuated by the guilt and hesitation of those around her.

Vartolomei gives an achingly beautiful performance as she carries the emotional weight of the film on her shoulders.

This exposing journey of discovery is at times a deeply distressing watch but one that is told with care and exposes a situation that for some still resonates to this very day.

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