The Divine Order
I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT GET OVER THIS MOVIE! I’m trying to contain myself but I can’t.
In The Divine Order, Nora, Marie Leuenberger (The Circle), is the kind of woman most people would easily overlook and underestimate, but absolutely shouldn’t.
The year is 1971. On the outside, Nora seems like an average woman and an obedient housewife. A curious spark inside her, subtle, but there. That is of course, until Nora takes a bus to a nearby Swiss town where she’s greeted on the street by suffragettes promoting the referendum on the right for women to vote.
Used to a life of mostly speaking when spoken to, Nora is cautious and doubtful at first, but curiosity wins as she takes home her free reading materials and devours them all in one night. Tired but inspired, Nora decides to start rallying for women to have the right to vote.
In The Divine Order Nora is someone to root for, at times someone to feel sorry for, and someone to also be proud of. From the beginning, we get an idea of just how hard working Nora is, as we watch her bike up and down snow-covered hills just to visit her older sister at her farm. I could almost feel the cold bitter wind against my legs, as I took in the picturesque sights on the screen in the theater. (The shots in this movie were exquisite.)
Inevitably conflict arises in Nora’s household. Husband Hans, Maximilian Simonischek (Gotthard) struggles between supporting his wife and his social dignity, and her sons struggle with repercussions at school. Despite the backlash, Nora refuses to keep her head or voice down – she decides to go on strike with other women in the town.
There’s an immense swelling of true sisterhood in The Divine Order that brings tears to my eyes. Not to mention a few great laughs like when Nora tells her husband that she has a tiger between her legs (something she learns in a hippie workshop) and that she’s NEVER had an orgasm.
Without Nora at home, poor Hans is left to cook nothing but eggs for the family since it’s all he knows how to make. I sat there laughing and thinking to myself “Yeah! Let the bastards starve and fend for themselves!” feeling quite smug for Nora. (Personally for me, I couldn’t be with anyone who didn’t know how to cook a meal or go down on me.) I couldn’t contain my knowing laughter having dealt with many suitors in the past that were either devastatingly disappointing, or alarmingly average. It took me a long time to get over being polite, and to start speaking up – but I finally did it and so did Nora.
There was not one single weak performance by any of the actors in The Divine Order. Leuenberger is fantastic as Nora. One of the biggest highlights for me was the light-up globe she spins at night with her sons. A poetic metaphor for how big she knows the world is, and how small and sheltered she feels in a town that is clearly behind the times.
It is such a privilege and a pleasure to watch these characters develop and grow. The Divine Order is a MUST SEE!