Testament (Lynne Littman, 1983, USA, 35mm, 90 min.)
Lynn Littman’s Testament offers a personal, devastating and subversively feminist account of societal collapse. Narrating the ordeals of a suburban Bay Area family in the weeks after a large-scale nuclear attack, Testament measures the deepening crisis through the resilience of mother Carol (Jane Alexander) as she watches traditional figures of patriarchal authority crumble around her. Avoiding graphic violence, Littman instead explores the emotional toll of catastrophe through strong performances and brilliant editing.
Part of the film series
Women at the End of the World
Inspired by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the novel selected for Northwestern’s 2018–2019 campus-wide One Book One Northwestern” program, this series brings together cinematic visions of dystopia and apocalypse featuring women at their center. Like Atwood’s novel, these four films all emerged in the mid-1980s, and all respond to the same political, ecological, and cultural anxieties that figure in The Handmaid’s Tale through their diverse voices and divergent approaches to narrative.
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