The Handmaid's Tale (1990) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna
In the not-too-distant future, the good old boys have taken over the world and turned it into some kind of right-wing religious-nutbag theocracy, in which women have been relegated to insignificant support roles. Of course, there is one more gimmick. There always is.
Most of the world is infertile.
Because there are so many infertile women, fertile young women of childbearing age are rounded up and placed in re-education camps, where they are brainwashed on the new moral code until they are deemed suitable to bear children for a power couple. This isn't done through in vitro fertilization, but through a religious/sexual ceremony in which husband, wife, and handmaiden say a few prayers and then proceed to have passionless, nearly fully clothed sex, in which the handmaiden lies upon the wife while the husband lifts the surrogate's skirt and climaxes inside of her mechanically.
Richardson is chosen to be a handmaiden for the commander of the
right-wing army (Robert Duvall). It turns out that the commander is as
infertile as his wife, but the wife (Faye Dunaway) needs a child, so
she comes up with a secret scheme to get the handmaiden pregnant by
one of the subservient men in their household. Meanwhile, the
handmaiden and the lover are plotting with the dreaded rebels, and
there is an omnipresent civil war causing explosions which don't seem
to destroy anything. (It's good to know that weaponry will actually
become less potent in the future.)
The movie has a fairly interesting premise, and the development of the plot did have me wondering what would happen, but I wouldn't recommend it to you for a few reasons: (SPOILERS)
It isn't an awful movie, but you'd expect better and subtler from Volker Schloendorff, the director of The Tin Drum.
Tuna's comments in yellow:
The Handmaid's Tale
(1990) is a story set in the not too distant future. Due to a series
of environmental disasters, most women became infertile, and the
religious right decided that God was punishing us for promiscuity,
genetic engineering, acceptance of gays, woman's lib, and minority
rights, and staged a coup. The set up a faith based government in a
new country they called Gilead, founded on Old Testament principles.
They corrected all of these abuses, mainly through persecution, but a
civil war begins. Fertile women became "Handmaids," based on
the biblical story of Rachel, who used her maid as a surrogate mother
to have a child, to bear children for the rich and powerful. The
handmaids have sex fully dressed and wearing a veil with the real wife
holding their head and hands, and the husband only touching them with
his dong. Naturally, the wives were not happy about the sex aspect of
task is either to get pregnant somehow and not piss off Dunaway in the
process, or to find a way to escape. We see her breasts in two dark
scenes, both times through a window at night. This is the sort of film
I should have loved, as all of the villains are groups that I mistrust
anyway, and, as a 60's sort of person, I have never been fond of the
establishment. Unfortunately, I found it rather sterile for the
subject matter, and the pace way too slow. Much of it was over-dark,
making it hard to watch as well. I can barely give it a C.
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