‘Companies don’t want to invest in women of your age. You’re almost thirty.’
Volker Schlondorff is of those directors who deserved to be better known compared to the other torchbearers and more popular compatriots of German New Wave. Apart of his much lauded Cannes winning, ‘The Tin Drum’, his other brilliant films of early phase remained unnoticed for many of cinelovers. Here is a fine and worthy to notice film of Schlondorff’s earlier phase that remain under noticed for many.
‘Strohfeuer’ aka ‘Free Woman’ is thoughtful feminist film that mirrors the subordination of the second sex in contemporary society with irony and truth. The protagonist of the film is a divorced woman of thirties struggling to get child possession and settle her own identity, independence and self fulfillment. It examines the impersonal patriarchal society which from time immemorial pushed male dominance and their preconceived notions of domesticated and passive stand towards woman. In a world where woman is more an object than subject, how society treats a woman who’s bold, attractive, free in spirit and wanted to restart his career after years of being a housewife? The film has unobtrusive camerawork, well restrained and fine act by Von Trotta and explored feminist angles in society, religion, art, myths and life in general.