#SheReviews Happening

April 13, 2022

I adore French films with subtitles, it not only helps with my learning and understanding of the French language but the French stories have intriguing and unusual plots. 

Happening or  L’evenement is the acclaimed new film from BAFTA-nominated director Audrey Diwan. It is raw and real and one all young women and men should watch. No wonder it was the Winner of the Golden Lion and FIPRESCI Prize at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.

Based on Diwan’s intimate adaptation of Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel her themes, created from its source material are written and produced with honesty and simplicity. The result is a gripping, poignant and timely sophomore feature. Wonderful acting by clever young actors.

The Story

The film is reminiscent of the days when public phone booths were the main source of telecommunication, women’s freedom ofchoice was suppressed by discriminative laws, a society that condemned women for human mistakes and of taboo subjects.  

The timeline is 1963 in France, a powerful and emotional story, superbly written about Anne (Anamaria Vartolomei) a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. 

 But when she falls pregnant, at a time when the laws forbid termination, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. 

A very personal encounter of a young woman’s somewhat innocent dilemma sharing it with no one. With her final exams fast approaching and her pregnancy progressing she has no other alternative but to find a resolution that includes risking her life. 

Some themes made me squirm and I wondered how many poor young girls suffered the same fate in the real world. It was the era when male doctors did not approve of abortions.  Anne resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, a reflection of the times. 

A compelling, captivating, confronting journey of a young woman’s intimate, painful and solitary struggle.    

“He’s not bad is he?” 

“But if you pick one, and if he’s the wrong one…”


Director: Audrey Diwan

Producer: Edouard Weil

Written by: Audrey Diwan and Marcia Romano


Anamaria Vartolomei, Luana Bajrami, Louise Orry-Diquero,  Kacey Mottet Klein


 In cinemas 14 April 2022