Tell It Like a Woman, an anthology film released in February 2023, segmented of seven short stories directed by women showcases the stories of women around the world. The movie was filmed in different parts of the world including Italy, India, Japan, and the U.S. It is a masterpiece that displayed women as the protagonist in their arduous lives. The movie stars Cara Delevingne, Marcia Gay Harden, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Hudson, Margherita Buy, Anne Watanabe and Jacqueline Fernandez. It is directed by Lucia Bulgheroni, Silvia Carobbio, Catherine Hardwicke, Taraji P. Henson, Mipo Oh, Lucía Puenzo, Maria Sole Tognazzi and Leena Yadav. Even Though it’s only been a few months since the release, it won the TFF Excellence Award at the Taormina Film Fest.
The film starts with a statement in support of the We Do It Together’s mission to “empower women and promote gender parity in films and media ”. The two segments are inspired by real life. The first segment of Pepcy & Kim is based on the real-life story of a woman who started a Time for Change Foundation. In addition the second segment Elbows Deep presents a true story of a doctor assisting homelessness. It is also in five languages that diversified and make the segments very authentic and vulnerable.
The segment highlights the struggle and challenges that women face. The segment A Week in My Life, I noticed, featured a woman who is a mother with two kids struggling with her daily tasks, working and taking care of her kids. This felt genuine and relatable to me because I have grown up with one. The segment shows daily lives of a mother who is always working searching for her own peace. Overall, the segment portrayed a beautiful ending and the scenes are so touching seeing the relationship and care that she has with her kids. The ending scene will leave your heart in tears seeing such strong relationships and beauty in the art of motherhood. The stories are so genuine and have pieces that are relatable. We are offered stories that inspire and empower us women to be stronger and to take action in our lives. The tone, setting, and dialogue help the audience resonate in a life that is full of challenges. The stories take deep subjects such as sexual violence, abuse, homelessness, motherhood, and much more. It carries a sensitive voice throughout the film. While the content is touchy, all speak on the value that is motivating and inspiring throughout their stories. Constantly throughout the film, we are presented with the dark truth women face. It was heartbreaking to see such a movie, to see other women like me suffer from such distress.
The film introduces us to see and live the struggles these woman had to live. It depicts the character’s thoughts and feelings that are intimate, expressive and exhibited. Some of the segments were very emotional to watch, such as “Pepcy & Kim”, “Elbows Deep”, “A Week in My Life”, “Sharing a Ride”, and “Unspoken”. The “Pepcy & Kim”, and “Elbows Deep” segments showcased the struggles of abuse and homelessness and were most difficult for me to watch. “A Week in My Life” was one of my favorite segments as it did great storytelling of a working woman with kids. The struggle of the mother and the relationship with her kids was very loving to capture in the film. “Sharing a Ride” was very beautifully depicted and portrayed through South Asian actress Jacqueline Fernandez played as Divya. The mastery of storytelling through music was also very appealing. The song “Applause” by Diane Warren was played in this segment. The song itself has beautiful lyrics. In fact, it was one of the Oscars nominated songs in 2023, along with Naatu Naatu, Hold My Hand, Lift me Up and This is Life. Through the segment, we are able to live in the lyrics. For example, “Give yourself some applause you deserve it, give yourself some respect cause you earned it, give yourself some love cause you’re worth it” were so beautifully depicted in the movie where Jacqline is dancing in the rain where she feels free. She enjoys the drops of the rain as the song plays demonstrating her internal feeling where she finally acknowledges and appreciates the inner beauty that she holds: her kind heart. She is dancing freely with the little kids as she finds her inner child dancing. “Unspoken” was also a very eye-opening segment that demonstrates the small turmoils inside an individual and also put great emphasis on the struggle and willingness to feel for others. Each segment presents a story that is extremely heart-touching, powerful and empowering.
The segments show the struggles that are empowering in their own way. It teaches us to be strong, captivating and resilient. Most importantly, it demonstrates the power of a woman and how we are beautiful from not just externality but also from our inner beauty that continues to shine during difficult times. The film tied all seven stories from the seven segments in such a beautiful manner with the limited time given. The diversity of the women and locations chosen was also an important factor to highlight as these struggles can still bring all women in commonality. The different experiences and perspectives of such strong women was very inspiring. Overall, it was heartwarming to see such talented women filmmakers speak and share their voices through the art of storytelling. Centering their perspective not just on-screen with the protagonist, but also behind the camera with the scenery, script, and the tone that reaches the audience emotionally and beautifully.