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How Far Have the Female Characters Actually Achieved Empowerment by the End of the Films You Have Studied for This Topic?

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Empowering Women Essay

How far have the female characters actually achieved empowerment by the end of the films you have studied for this topic? (35 Marks)

The films I have studied for the topic of empowering women are ‘Everlasting Moments’ (D. Jan Troell, 2009) and ‘Seraphine’ (D. Martin Provost, 2008). To empower someone is to make someone stronger and confident, specifically in controlling their life and claiming their rights. In these two films I have looked at how the main female characters have been able to achieve empowerment or any obstacles that have prevented achieving empowerment. In Everlasting Moments, the film was set in the early 1900’s, which was a time of gender inequality and oppression. Women were seen as being subject to guardianship by their spouse and so were treated as simple possessions, they were unable to vote and jobs were not open equally to men and women. The central female character, Maria, is a young working class woman who experiences poverty and patriarchal oppression from her violent husband, which is further reinforced in early 1900’s Swedish society. The film, Seraphine, which was set in 1914 in France, is about an undiscovered working class female painter named Seraphine, who again experiences social and gender inequality.

In Seraphine, there are both obstacles that Seraphine faces to empowerment and ways in which she could be considered as empowered. An obstacle she faces is her social status; as a working class woman she is powerless due to the class divide in that period of time and how her cleaning job limits her time, to paint and focus on art. Also her work as a maid to a wealthy middle class lady means she has a sense of power over Seraphine, as she can control aspects of Seraphine’s behaviour. For example, in the scene where Mme Duphot has returned and Seraphine is changing the sheets which Mme Duphot hasn’t…...

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