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Film description
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24th of July, 19:00
25th of July, 16:00
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Wives
Hustruer
dir. Anja Breien / Norway 1975 / 84’
subtitles: Polish and English

Cast

Anne Marie Ottersen, Frøydis Armand, Katja Medbøe

awards

Locarno IFF 1975 – Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Special Mention

Film description

Former school friends Mie, Kaja and Heidrun, now in their thirties, meet at a reunion. One of their classmates triggers a conversation during which the protagonists reveal intimate details of their lives. Mie has three children, a husband and a lover. Kaja is married (we see a brief glimpse of her husband) and is expecting her second child. Heidrun is separated and works at a chocolate factory; she lies about having a baby that she does not intend to have.

An answer to John Cassavetes’ renowned Husbands (1970), Anja Breien’s Wives (1975) shows a generation of middle-class Norwegian women who find that their school reunion offers them an unexpected chance to stop life for a moment and consider it from different perspectives. Although relying heavily on improvisation, the film’s actresses and co-authors keep the story flowing within a tight structure that gradually reveals the characters’ inner selves. Anja Breien subversively exposes the social and gender roles ascribed to contemporary men and women in her society. The iconoclastic Wives plays out like the chronicle of an awakening: increasingly conscious of the cultural constrictions they face, the women begin to feel rage.

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