"The Divine Order", Swiss film for Women's Day on 8 March
Petra Volpe's film "The Divine Order" has been brilliantly successful since it hit the cinemas around a year ago. Not only in Switzerland, but also internationally. It's about the late introduction of votes for women in Switzerland.
Nora, a young housewife and mother, lives with her husband, their two sons and her grumpy father-in-law in a tranquil little village. Not much is felt there of the social upheavals caused by the movement of May 1968. When Nora starts to campaign for voting rights for women, thereby violating "the divine order", family and village peace are shattered. When Nora wants to go back to work, her husband refuses permission on the grounds of the Swiss marriage law of the time. This rouses Nora's resistance. She starts to read feminist literature, wear tight jeans, and visits a workshop on sexual liberation together with other village women. When, on top of all that, she campaigns publicly for votes for women and calls a strike, the peace of village and family life starts to fall apart.
"The Divine Order" is an emotional, engaging, funny and intelligent film that's a pleasure to watch over and over again. It has been shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, the Sydney Film Festival and the International Film Festival in Locarno. It won the Swiss Film Award for the best script and was submitted for an Oscar by the Federal Office of Culture as the Swiss entry in the "Best Foreign Language Film" category. Even though it failed to make the shortlist, that's still recognition of no small order.