This screening will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Audrey Diwan.
France, 1963. Anne (Anamarie Vartolomei) is a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. But when she falls pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. With her final exams fast approaching, and her window of opportunity closing, Anne resolves to act, even if she must confront pain and the shame of social stigmatisation, even if she must risk a prison sentence to do so. Adapted from Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel, Happening recounts the journey of a young woman’s physical and emotional battle to access illegal abortion in a desperate race against the clock. Audrey Diwan’s film, a deserving winner of the Gold Lion at the 2021 Venice Film Festival, is a powerful and gripping drama set in a society that condemned female desire and sexual liberty.
Notes by David O Mahony