Feminist Riposte (Riposte Féministe)
Throughout the streets of France, words have begun to appear pasted onto the walls of buildings. These messages speak about femicide, rape and all injustices against women. The collages are the work of a new wave of French feminists who are passionate about getting their message heard. They want change now and they demand that people take in what those black letters on white sheets of paper say – and their bluntness is hard to ignore.
There are over 200 of these groups in France, with more spreading across London, New York and Mexico. In Feminist Riposte, directors Marie Perennès and Simon Depardon speak to just a handful of the people involved in this new revolution to get an understanding of why they do what they do. From each conversation the filmmakers have with these young women, it’s evident that every member, whether they’re new to activism or veterans, is deeply passionate about the cause. And listening to some of these young people’s testimonies of why they were attracted to the movement only underlines why their fight for women’s rights is so fundamental.
When the groups aren’t posting their signs at night, larger congregations issue a rallying cry as one united voice. Their chants and protest songs are as attention-grabbing and blunt as their signs. Likewise, their responses to those bold (and stupid) enough to challenge them are equally empowering.
This documentary amplifies a critical message that resonates deeply with today’s youth. The very fact that so many people can be this vehement about positive change shows optimism for a better future. The issue with this film, though, is that it is far too repetitive. While the concept of speaking to groups from each city is designed to show how widespread and unified their voice is, each chapter plays out more or less in the same way. Perhaps choosing to primarily follow one group and adding key interviews from the others the project would have resulted in more of a balanced core.
Regardless of the structural flaws, the final message of Feminist Riposte is impossible to ignore. Change is coming.
Feminist Riposte (Riposte Féministe) does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Cannes Film Festival 2022 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Cannes Film Festival website here.
Watch a clip from Feminist Riposte (Riposte Féministe) here: