Reactions to Happening

Happening, the eighth film of our 77th season achieved an overall appreciation score of 82%. Being powerful, captivating, challenging, thought provoking but also depressing and difficult to watch. Some of the comments submitted:

  • As powerful, as we had been told. Brilliant cinematography. Such a captivating story. Lead actor amazing too.
  • Very hard hitting. Talented acting, making it tragically very believable. Challenging but well worth seeing.
  • The film never sought to overplay its hand: the central character was utterly convincing and never romantised; sub-plots and peripheral detail was kept at a minimum; the soundtrack was subtle and under-stated, with the tension and rising sense of panic slowly but remorsely tightening over the course of the film like the best suspense thriller. The fact that you hardly knew the film was set in the 60s – which some Internet reviewers have found fault with… – I consider to be a strength rather a weakness, emphasising the continuing currency of this issue.
  • I found it thought provoking, not only about a young person growing up in two different cultures but also all young people dealing with a ‘changing world’.
  • Well acted, well made and sympathetic portrait of all too common dilemma, then and even now in many parts of the world. The audience suffered with her.
  • A thought provoking film. As a man it reinforced the plight of women who cope with unwanted pregnancies on their own. Made me think of what is happening in the US now Rowe/ Wade has been revoked.
  • Very thought provoking, reminding us that legal Termination of Pregnancy is so culturally arbitrary. But it is always women who bear the burden.
  • Quite disturbing! Interesting to see how girls would risk so much knowing the consequences for 10 mins of sex! Thank goodness times are easier these days.
  • Slightly weird; very French! Noticed that everyone leaving the Bacon was so shell shocked that they all left in silence!!!
  • Well acted powerful film but very depressing.
  • The actress was excellent and really conveyed an emotional journey. The film was one of the single most disturbing films I’ve ever seen. So it will at least be memorable. The subject matter is certainly timely; the first news article I saw upon leaving the film was about an anti-abortion law in the US state of Georgia being overturned by a judge. I don’t know if all the disturbing moments were necessary to convey what needed to be conveyed. The experience shown happened to many women across many countries and represents grave injustice, but also is far removed from modern medical practices. So it’s not clear how relevant such graphic depictions of old-style abortions are to our times.
  • Verging on excellent, but I found it hard to watch. Would also have quite liked a bit more on the context up front (I don’t remember seeing a year mentioned which made it hard to pin the timeline for non-French people). But great performances and gripping (if somewhat depressing) story.
  • Pity the unnecessary gruesome and nude scenes put off some members.
  • It’s too hard to grade a film which was so horrific , harrowing and haunting. The main actress was unbelievably brilliant. A very hard watch.
  • Too gynaecological. Should be seen by all US supreme Court judges.
  • Poor script which only dealt with the main character. The ‘gore’ aspect overshadowed the psychological aspect of the main character and to me was unnecessary. Very 1 dimensional when it could have more. Astonished that it made the CFS view list!
  • Great propaganda for the anti-abortion lobby in the U.S.A. but otherwise too clinical and poor entertainment. Probably well acted though.
  • A film this graphic would have been very relevant when abortion in France was illegal – today, I fear that, it was just attention-seeking.