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Female desire and bodily autonomy: Exclusive preview + panel on Happening

On April 21st, 2022 we were thrilled to welcome audiences to Picturehouse Central for an exclusive impact preview of Audrey Diwan’s striking, BATFA-nominated feature Happening.

Happening follows Anne (Anamaria Vartolomei), a bright, young, working class student in 1963 France with a promising future ahead of her. But when she falls pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. With her final exams fast approaching and her pregnancy progressing, Anne resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, even if she must risk prison to do so.

After watching the film, the audience took part in a captivating conversation moderated by Caitlin Quinlan, featuring Dr. Annabel Sowemimo and sex educator Rukiat Ashawe. The panel and audience chatted about female desire, sexuality, bodily autonomy, and how the film pertains to our current moment and the ongoing battle for reproductive justice.

Happening panel discussion, moderated by @csaquinlan, featuring @sosowemimo & Rukiat Ashawe

The film also opened up a conversation about class and race. The panel talked about the often even more difficult experiences of Black and Brown women accessing abortion, and the additional impact of class on women seeking abortions.

Wrapping up the discussion, the panelists gave their thoughts on the lasting stigma around sexual and reproductive healthcare, how women’s sexuality is often still suppressed, and what sex positivity means to them. Rukiat shared, “Sex positivity means for me, having no shame in my sexuality and having knowledge on these things.”

Happening is now showing in select UK cinemas. Find tickets near you.

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Together Films are a marketing, distribution, and technology company based in London & NYC serving the international film community.

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