“Annie anger”: before Veil law of 1975, reinvention of woman in struggle for right to abortion

In Blandine Lenoir’s film, Laure Calamy turns into a shy, almost erased heroine, turning to contact with militant engagement.

by Clarisse Fabre

With her vintage colors and her joyful mood, Annie Anger, by Blandine Lenoir, revisits a deeply political and contemporary struggle: activism for the right to abortion, before its legalization in France in 1975, within the movement for Freedom of abortion and contraception (MLAC). Created in 1973 by militant doctors and feminist collectives, the MLAC practiced disobedience and organized clandestine abortions using a new method, called “Karman”, more painless and simpler to teach – consisting in sucking content from the uterus using a cannula.

A highly topical film, while the right to abortion regularly makes the “one” of the newspapers. The subject remains passionate, as soon as it is a question of strengthening this right or when, on the contrary, it is abused, which is currently the case, especially in the United States, the Supreme Court having decided, the June 24, to put down the ROE vs Wade stop which authorized the use of abortion across the country – now, it is up to the American states to legislate. A sign of ambient concern, in France, the deputies have just adopted, Thursday, November 24, at first reading, a bill aimed at registering the right to abortion in the Constitution.

Annie anger hook us to an endearing heroine, Annie (Laure Calamy), a worker in a mattress factory, a metaphor for the conjugal life of the time when the contraceptive pill, although legalized since 1967, did not go. Married, pregnant with a second unwanted child, Annie ends up entering the point of the feet in a horny antenna … literally transformed, Laure Calamy puts herself in the shoes of an almost erased woman, shy, coming out of her environment and Surprising almost from his audacity. Annie discovers in the MLAC a second family, develops medical skills in contact with men and women engaged, and takes off from the family home, no offense to her husband (Yannick Choirat, also actor of theater).

Feel useful

A little spark changes everything inside the character. Annie makes political joy shine in her gaze, that of feeling useful. No one knows, but she has just made her revolution. Tightened in her little red coat, Laure Calamy teleports us almost fifty years back, in a France a little less icy for women’s rights than time when Annie Ernaux was desperately looking to abort, in winter 1964, a test which she chronicked in the event (Gallimard, 2000) – adapted to the screen by Audrey Diwan, her eponymous feature film which won the Golden Lion in Venice in 2021.

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/Media reports cited above.