Presented in competition at the Francophone Film Festival, this third feature film by Blandine Lenoir looks back on the forgotten destinies of the militants of the MLAC (Movement for the freedom of abortion and contraception), who performed abortions before their legalization in 1975. by the Veil law.
Choral film, “Annie Colère” is reminiscent of “120 beats per minute” (2017) on Act Up’s fight at the start of the AIDS epidemic and resonates with the Golden Lion awarded last year in Venice at Audrey Diwan’s “The Event”, about an abortion in the 1960s.
Here, Laure Calamy, the actress of “Ten percent”, is Annie, a worker and mother of two children who does not want a new pregnancy.
But in Annie’s France, abortion is illegal.
She then came into contact with the MLAC, before becoming a pillar.
Not just a film about abortion, “Annie Colère” is also the story of emancipation. Because the MLAC is not only a place to have an abortion, it is a space where women meet, discuss and discover another vision of their body and their sexuality.
“The collective memory has not retained the fight of these women. One has the impression that it was Simone Veil alone who allowed the legalization of abortion when it was the pressure of women, activists, who made legalization possible,” the 47-year-old actress told AFP.
– “Combat continues” –
“These women are heroines. It is thanks to them that we can now choose our pregnancies. This film is for them”, completes the director who is collaborating for the 3rd time with the interpreter of “Antoinette in the Cévennes” .
In theaters on November 30, “Angry Annie” comes out in full questioning of the right to abortion in the United States by the Supreme Court. A decision that could, according to Laure Calamy, be emulated. Even in France.
“You have to have this awareness that it’s a permanent fight, that it will never be over,” she says.
“I remember the complacency of Jacques Chirac for the anti-abortion movements which came to be linked in family planning to make women feel guilty. It’s all the time, there are all the time pressures to challenge this right that “It is absolutely necessary to enshrine in the Constitution. Urgently” she continues.
In early July, bills were tabled in the Assembly with the aim of anchoring this right in the Constitution.
In the meantime, the experts believe that the right to abortion is more weakened on the ground: conscience clause of doctors, lack of midwives… “There is still a lot to do to de-stigmatize this act”, estimates the actress.
In the film, the conscience clause of doctors is mentioned. A sign that as early as the 1970s, the subject preoccupied activists. One question remains: how to solve it?
The thesis of the film is that it should be allowed that abortions are not only performed by doctors, as did the militants of the Mlac who had been trained in the technique of aspiration and could, in fine, perform abortions .
“With this method, we realized that we could pass on the gesture and make it something we are in control of,” observes the actress. “Mistresses of our destinies and our bodies.”