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Women Talking | 2022 | PG-13 | – 4.6.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Women Talking” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “mature thematic content including sexual assault, bloody images, and some strong language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes many scenes of women waking up after having been drugged and raped with blood shown on different parts of their bodies, many discussions and arguments about survival and faith, and at least 2 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


When the women of an isolated colony of strictly religious people decide that something must be done to protect their children, the decision is not easy for a small number of women to make for all of the women: they have to either forgive their attackers, or stay and fight, or leave. Based on the 2018 novel by Miriam Toews, which was loosely based on real-life events that took place at a Bolivian Mennonite colony. With Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand, Judith Ivey, Emily Mitchell, Kate Hallett, Liv McNeil, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle McLeod, Kira Guloien, Shayla Brown, Vivien Endicott Douglas, Ben Whishaw and August Winter. Directed by Sarah Polley. [Running Time: 1:44]

Women Talking SEX/NUDITY 4

 – A teen girl hears two men moaning behind wooden slats (possibly implying sex) and tells one of them (her brother) that his baby is gone, implying that he raped her and impregnated her and that she either aborted the fetus or miscarried (we see her covered with blood and see her smearing a great deal of blood on a wall). Many scenes show women of varying ages reviving from a sedative and finding their legs, clothing bedclothes and faces covered with blood (we understand that they have been sedated and raped).
 A man declares his love for a woman and she tells him that if she were married, she would not be herself. A voiceover states that women did not discuss their bodies leading to confusion about some things. We hear that a young woman identifies as a young man and stopped speaking after being attacked; another person asks, “Is she always going to be a man now?”

Women Talking VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 – We hear that a woman hanged herself after being raped. Several scenes show women recovering from a sedative and with blood and bruises on their thighs, legs, nightgowns and bedclothes (we understand that they have been sedated and raped). A woman wakes up and we see blood in her mouth and on her bedclothes and nightgown; we see the woman later with false teeth and understand that she was beaten by a man and her teeth were knocked out (we see her with blood pouring from her mouth into her hand where there are several teeth). A woman has her arm in a sling, bruises on her face and a swollen eye and her teenage daughter has a bruise on her cheek (we are told that the woman’s husband beat her because he was very drunk). A teen girl tells her brother that his baby is gone implying that he raped her and impregnated her and that she either aborted the fetus or miscarried (we see her covered with blood and see her smearing a great deal of blood on a wall).
 A girl’s voice says, “We caught one of them and he named the others”; we see a man being locked in a shed and when the door is opened a woman swings a scythe at him (we do not see injuries). A woman gasps for breath and falls back onto the floor having a seizure; women hold her and speak to her until she recovers. A woman yells and runs after her son; we see the boy being sprayed in the face with something and we later understand that he was sedated by his mother so that she could force him to leave with her.
 Women argue in several scenes about what is the right thing to do for their community; several times there are disparaging remarks exchanged. A woman berates a man about his attempted contribution to a debate. Women talk about needing to forgive their attackers or the women would be denied entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven. People talk about serial rapes being done by Satan or that it is “the work of ghosts.” People talk about the complaints of rape being caused by “wild female imagination,” or that they are “trying to get attention.” A voiceover says that the girls and women of a community had very little schooling. We hear that a young woman identifies as a young man and stopped speaking after being attacked. A woman accuses another woman of having “No grasp on reality.” A woman says that they will kill the men of the colony if they don’t agree to their demands. Women discuss the fact that what they think does not matter. A girl seems to feel sad that she will never get to go to university or to learn things. A woman asks another woman, “Were you smoking?” and she says, “Is it your business?” Women talk about the pain of not being able to see their sons again. A woman says, “I’d like to strangle myself.” Women discuss whether God is loving or vengeful. A woman questions why God has not protected the women of their community. A woman says that she will kill and dance on the graves of anyone that tries to harm her child. A woman says, “We cannot become murderers or endure any more violence.” A woman says, “I might be dying” when she cannot see (another woman says that it’s just her dirty glasses). A woman says that forgiveness can be confused for permission. A man talks about boys having unbridled emotion and urges that make them dangerous unless taught properly to manage them. Women discuss wanting to keep their children safe, wanting to remain steadfast in their faith and wanting to think. We hear that a woman walked for a day and a half with her toddler on her back to a local clinic to get antibiotics for her child.
 A woman steers horses on a dirt road and they are frightened when a dog barks at them, and the woman steers them off the road. A girl is shown seated in the rafters of a barn and her mother scolds her. A woman has an attack and recovers but seems shaky. A girl runs through a barn loft yelling, “I can’t live a second longer,” and jumps out of an open door causing women to yell and run after her; we see her lying in a container filled with hay and she is unharmed. A boy is brought to his mother and she tries to find out what’s wrong with him; he has a cherry pit in his nose and she helps him blow it out (we see it pop out of his nostril). A truck drives through a community announcing that everyone should come out to be counted for the 2010 census; no one goes to be counted, but two teen girls run to the truck to talk to the driver.
 A man gives a woman a gun and the woman tells the man, “Don’t kill yourself.” A woman is shown with a badly scarred face. A teen girl is shown with a cloudy eye and we understand that she is blind. Women wash each other’s feet before they take a vote about what to do. A pregnant woman vomits (we hear gagging and splatter but do not see goo).

Women Talking LANGUAGE 5

 – About 2 F-words, 2 scatological terms, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (insane, nonsense, dreamer, evil, ridiculous, boring, lunatics, awkward, disappointing, spinster, whore, 2 bit failed farmer, rapist), exclamations (shush, oh, please stop, hey, shoo, shhh), 14 religious exclamations (e.g. Lord, Praise be to God, Father Almighty, in the name of God, praise God, God be with you, what in Heaven’s name, God, Jesus). | profanity glossary |

Women Talking SUBSTANCE USE

 – We hear that a cow tranquilizer is used on women before they are raped, and a boy is sprayed in the face with a sedative by his mother. A woman smokes a cigarette in several scenes and others give her a hard time about it.

Women Talking DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Serial rape, strict religious colonies, pacifism, banishment, forgiveness, power, love, cowardice, perspective, freedom, revenge, hope, pity, Philippians, sin, the Census, kindness, celestial navigation, exploration, impulse control, uncertainty, disgrace, safety, opportunity, liberation, doubt.

Women Talking MESSAGE

 – It’s easy to forget what’s possible. Closed communities can harbor horrible abuse.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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