Sign In  |  Shopping Cart Shopping Cart  |  RSS Subscribe to RSS Feed  
Spirituality & Practice
Search This Site
Loading
Find Us On
Follow Me on Pinterest
DonateNow
Sign Up
Conscious Aging Alliance
Conscious Aging Alliance Events
Search Reviews
Title:

Director
First Name:

Director
Last Name:

Keywords:

Medium:
Practice:

Tradition:
About the Database

Search our database of more than 4,500 film reviews. We have been discovering spiritual meanings in movies for nearly four decades.

Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

The Handmaid's Tale
Directed by Volker Schlondorff
MGM Home Entertainment 03/90 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R

In The Handmaid's Tale, right-wing religious fundamentalists have overthrown the American government and established a repressive puritanical society called the Republic of Gilead. Natasha Richardson stars as Kate, who, after losing her husband and daughter while trying to escape to Canada, is captured and assigned to the household of Fred (Robert Duvall), a commander of the regime, and his barren wife (Faye Dunaway). After years of environmental catastrophes, most of the women in this society cannot bear children. Kate, renamed "Of Fred," has tested fertile, so she is to be a "handmaid" — a term taken from the Biblical story of Rachel. Her sole task is to bear children for the commander.

The screenplay for The Handmaid's Tale by Harold Pinter conveys Kate's humiliation, boredom, alienation and yearning for freedom. Her allies, who are also suffering from the suppression of human rights in Gilead, include a prostitute (Elizabeth McGovern), another handmaid (Blanche Baker), and the commander's chauffeur (Aidan Quinn). Like George Orwell's 1984 and Doris Lessing's Memoirs of a Survivor, this work of speculative fiction presents a portrait of a future society and uses it to explore the consequences of present-day policies and developments. Anyone faintly concerned about environmental degradation, women's rights to control their own bodies, male chauvinism, censorship, public displays of violence, and procreation poltics will find this film to be quite chilling. In addition, it reveals why freedom remains the most precious idea and ideal in the world. Volker Schlkondorff directs The Handmaid's Tale.

 

Films Now Showing
Recent VHS/DVD Releases

Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
  Email This Review
Share |
Film Awards
The Most Spiritually Literate Films of:
 
Natasha Richardson as Kate
Related Content

• See our collection of Movies about Dystopias: Films that reflect the fears and excesses of contemporary societies.
Purchase from: