My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

Women Talking: a triumph

Yesterday was a very good day that ended with a spectacular treat: a showing of Sarah Polley’s film Women Talking at TIFF as a guest of my friend Eleanor, who afterward interviewed Polley and Miriam Toews, the writer of the book. 

The film is a feast, one to see again, a chamber piece set in a hayloft, and it is, yes, women talking — intense, powerful, moving. It’s shot in a muted palate, but the performances blaze with truth – phenomenal acting from a fabulous cast, including several stellar Canadian actors among the international superstars. 

It’s based on the true story of a Mennonite community in Bolivia where the men drug and rape the women and girls; while the men are briefly away, the women must figure out what to do about their situation. And so they talk. 

So much to love about the film, but I especially appreciated how uncynical and tender is the treatment of the women’s faith. They’re fervent Christians and often stop to sing hymns together, holding hands. They gather around each other when there’s pain or stress. There’s a beautiful sequence of boys’ faces, the innocent young they hope will not follow the ways of their fathers. The film is stunning. 

Earlier on this terrific day, I had several bits of good news: Toronto Life has accepted an essay to run next spring, and my essay book manuscript may have found a publisher. Substantial rewrites needed for both, particularly the book — how delicious, nothing I love more than editing and rewriting, knowing the words will have a home. It’s a rare occurrence. (The key words above are “may have” — nothing definite, nothing signed.)

Midday I was at Carole’s class at the Y, where a new exerciser came over to tell me he’d taken my class at Ryerson ten years ago and was thinking of taking it again. And then Sam and Bandit came for a brief visit, so I got to hug my furriest grandson of the floppy ears, who wants to chew everything. He has started his heart medication. 

The negatives — the gridlock, chaos, and congestion of this city downtown, designed to thwart and infuriate its citizens in every conceivable way, just appalling — road work thoughtlessly set up for maximum inconvenience. And then, the victory of Warnock in Georgia was so inconceivably close, when his opponent is barely literate, a profoundly stupid and unethical man, and yet nearly 50% of the voters approved of him. Horrifying.  

But one last treat just before bed – Wordle in two in about a minute. Leapt into a guess of a word using the other vowels with S in the fourth slot, and there it was. Occasionally there are those days when it all works. I relished every moment. 



5 Responses to “Women Talking: a triumph”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am really looking forward to seeing this film. An extraordinary book…

  2. beth says:

    Have not read the book yet; you'll find the film makes a few changes, but it is amazing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Eagerly awaiting your book of essays!

  4. ALAN MILLEN says:

    Anonymous is actually Alan in Zurich. Most eagerly awaiting your book of essays.

  5. beth says:

    Hi Alan. Don't hold your breath but the book is inching forward. You'll hear about it, for sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.