‘The Divine Order’ tells of Swiss women’s suffrage

By Pamela Pollack-Fremd

LA MESA, California — When did women win the right to vote in prosperous, stable, civilized Switzerland?  Many people would be surprised to learn that it did not happen until 1971.  The Divine Order, written and directed by Petra Volpe, is a gentle and entertaining film, which shows how that right was won in a small, conservative village in Switzerland.

Nora, a slightly bored wife, mother, and housewife, would like to take a secretary job at a local Swissair office.  She needs her husband’s permission to work.  Her husband Hans cannot understand why she would want to work outside of their home, but he agrees to think about it as he goes off on his two week military service .  While he is away Nora reads books and pamphlets by women who want to get the vote.  She also discovers that some of her female acquaintances in her small village also want more rights and power, but they are too embarrassed or afraid to say so.  Through various humorous situations Nora discovers her sexuality and sisterhood.

Nora, played by German actress Marie Leuenberger, is a quietly engaging character.  Marie Leuenberger has a strong background in theater.  She has a beautiful face which expresses emotions very subtly.  All the characters in this film are believable.  The music with some wildly popular songs from the 1960’s – 70’s is very entertaining.  The Divine Order is a very interesting and entertaining history lesson.

The Divine Order opens at the Ken Cinema in San Diego on December 15th.

Pollack-Fremd is a freelance writer and retired ESL teacher.


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