The Divine Order

In Switzerland women were denied the vote until 1971, a situation dramatized in this cogent, earnest feature from writer-director Petra Volpe. A housewife and mother of two boys (Marie Leuenberger) joins a group of “women’s libbers” and catches on to the sexual revolution of the 60s that has mainly bypassed their conservative village, where a forceful anti-suffragist matron hosts meetings for piggish men and their silent wives and endorses “God’s plan” for women to stay at home. Volpe’s most effective scenes are those that expose the community’s hypocrisy (like the one in which the heroine discovers the dirty magazines of her misogynistic father-in-law). Despite some awkward attempts at broad comedy, the film works as an uncomplicated reminder of what can happen when disenfranchised women speak up. In English and subtitled Italian, German, and Swiss German.