Women Talking (film)

2022 film directed by Sarah Polley

Women Talking is a 2022 film about the women of an isolated religious community who grapple with reconciling a brutal reality with their faith after their discovery of the men's history of raping the colony's women.

Directed and written by Sarah Polley, based on [[w:Women Talking (novel)|the novel] by Miriam Toews.
Do Nothing. Stay And Fight. Leave.
  • Hope for the unknown is good. It is better than hatred of the familiar.
  • Why does love - the absence of love, the end of love, the need for love - result in so much violence?
  • Surely, there must be something worth living for in this life, not only in the next.
  • When we have liberated ourselves, we will have to ask ourselves who we are.


  • I will destroy any living thing that harms my child. I will tear it limb from limb. I will desecrate its body and I will bury it alive. I will challenge God on the spot to strike me dead if I have sinned by protecting my child from evil, and my destroying that evil that it may not harm another. I will lie, I will hunt, I will kill. I will dance on graves and I will burn forever in hell before I allow another man to satisfy his violent urges with the body of my four year old child.
  • I cannot forgive them. I will never forgive them.
  • We know we were made to sleep with cow tranquilizer!
  • I will become a murderer if I stay.
  • We do not need to be forgiven by the men of God for protecting our children from the depraved actions of vicious men, who are often the very same men we're meant to ask for forgiveness.


  • It was a yes or no question. You shit like any other man, why don't you talk like one?


  • [narrating] We didn't talk about our bodies. So when something like this happened there was no language for it. And without language for it, there was a gaping silence. And in that gaping silence was the real horror.
  • Sometimes I think people laugh as hard as they'd like to cry.
  • We saw our bodies from above, not knowing if this was how God saw us, or because we didn't want to be in them.
  • The attacks were originally attributed to ghosts and demons. When the women woke up feeling drowsy and in pain, their bodies bruised and bleeding, many believed they were being made to suffer as punishment for their sins. Many accused the women of lying for attention or to cover up adultery.
  • They said later, it should have taken longer to pack up a whole life. It was disappointing to realize that everything that ever mattered to you could be gathered up in a few short hours.
  • [to Ona's baby] Your story will be different from ours.


  • Forgiveness can look like permission.
  • We have been preyed upon like animals. Maybe we should respond like animals.
  • Leaving is how we demonstrate our faith. We are leaving because our faith is stronger than the rules. Bigger than our life.

Scarface Janz

  • If we do not forgive these men, we give up our place in Heaven.


Salome: Fuck it off!
Autje: I think it's "Fuck off," actually.

Scarface Janz: We have everything we want here.
Mariche: No.
Scarface Janz: Want less!

Salome: Why would boys of 13 and 14 be left behind? Why wouldn't they leave with us?
Agata: Surely, we don't have to be afraid of the boys of this age.
Ona: August, you're the boys' teacher. What is your feeling about this? Do boys of that age pose a risk to our girls and women?
August: Yes. Possibly. Boys of 13 or 14 are capable of causing great damage to girls and women. And to each other. It is a brash age. They are possessed of reckless urges, physical exuberance, intense curiosity that often results in injury. Unbridled emotion, including deep tenderness and empathy, and not quite enough experience or brain development to fully understand or appreciate the consequences of their words or actions. They are like the yearlings. Young, awkward, gleeful, powerful. They're tall, muscular, sexually inquisitive creatures, with little impulse control, but they are children. They are children and they can be taught. I'm a two-bit schoolteacher, a failed farmer, and above all a believer. And I believe that with guidance, firm love and patience, these boys are capable of relearning their roles as males in the colony. I believe in what the great poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge thought were the cardinal rules of early education. 'To work by love and so generate love. To habituate the mind to intellectual accuracy and truth. To excite imaginative power.' He said, 'Little is taught by contest or dispute, everything by sympathy and love.' I believe the boys should be allowed to leave with the women... Providing the women choose to leave.

August: Ona! I will always love you.
[Ona smiles and walks away. August starts crying]
Woman on the Path: She loves you too, August.


  • Kate Hallett - Autje
  • Liv McNeil - Neitje
  • August Winter - Melvin
  • Kira Guloien - Anna
  • Shayla Brown - Helena
  • Nathaniel McParland - Aaron
  • Eli Ham - Klaas
  • Emily Mitchell - Miep

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