The Handmaid's Tale

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Released 1990

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The Handmaid's Tale

Movie Summary

Director:
Volker Schlondorff
Released:
1990
Rating:
R

The Handmaid's Tale is Margaret Atwoods' sometimes grim exploration of gender roles and the nature of power. In a bleakly authoritarian future America dominated by an oppressive religious party and plagued by toxic pollution in the atmosphere which renders most women infertile, young and attractive Kate (Natasha Richardson) commits the crime of attempting to leave the country. As punishment, she is assigned as a Handmaid, an unloved consort to the Commander (Robert Duvall), a high party official to whom she is expected to give an heir. She undergoes a brutal training and brainwashing regimen at a "fertility center" to prepare her for her new role as the Handmaid, and renamed "Offred" ("of Fred", his property). The Commander's sterile wife Serena Joy (Faye Dunaway) believes him also to be infertile, but to suggest so openly is a heresy. To provide the Commander with offspring, and to allow Offred to fulfill her obligation, she provides Offred to his chauffeur Nick (Aidan Quinn) to impregnate. During her time with Nick, she discovers information that may change their world forever.

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