The Divine Order
Die Göttliche Ordnung
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Petra Volpe’s rousing movie takes on the fight for women’s suffrage in Switzerland, which ended with victory in…1971. That’s right: before that year women were denied the right to vote, and Volpe is sharp in her portrayal of the culture that enabled this oppression. Marie Leuenberger plays Nora, a housewife who lives at the beck and call of her husband (Max Simonischek). When he vetoes her decision to work part-time and her niece Hanna (Ella Rumpf) is criminally charged for fulfilling her sexuality, the wheels start to turn. Soon Nora is a full-out activist, speaking truth to power and agitating for change. Drama and comedy balance evenly in the lead-up to a countrywide vote on the issue; of course we know the result, but that doesn’t lesson the film’s quality one bit.
"[T]his cine-history lesson [is] a mainstream crowd-pleaser adept at inspiring and amusing in equal measure… [T]hanks to its director’s sturdy guidance and Leuenberger’s fine lead performance as Nora, whose resolve is colored by doubt and trepidation, the film never feels stilted or preachy; rather, it radiates an infectious admiration for the courage shown by its heroines in the face of immense obstacles."—Nick Schager, Variety
Audience Award, Best Actress, Tribeca 17