The Divine Order

Feminism -
Justice -
The Divine Order is the feminist movie we all want and need
Petra Biondina Volpe
Petra Biondina Volpe
Marie Leuenberger,
Maximilian Simonischek,
Rachel Braunschweig,
Sibylle Brunner,
and Ella Rumpf
Run time
96 minutes
Zeitgeist Films,
Kino Lorber,
Version Originale,
Alamode Film,
Condor Entertainment,
Filmcoopi Zürich,
September Film
Distribution Date
Mar 09, 2017
Audience Award for Best Narrative Film, Jury Award for Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature (Marie Leuenberger), Nora Ephron Prize – Tribeca Film Festival (2017); Best Global Cinema – San Diego International Film Festival (2017); Best Actress, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Ensemble Cast – Film Club’s The Lost Weekend (2017)

I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT GET OVER THIS MOVIE! I’m trying to contain myself but I can’t. 

In The Divine Order, Nora, Marie Leuenberger (The Circle), is the kind of woman most people would easily overlook and underestimate, but absolutely shouldn’t. 

The year is 1971. On the outside, Nora seems like an average woman and an obedient housewife. A curious spark inside her, subtle, but there. That is of course, until Nora takes a bus to a nearby Swiss town where she’s greeted on the street by suffragettes promoting the referendum on the right for women to vote. 

Used to a life of mostly speaking when spoken to, Nora is cautious and doubtful at first, but curiosity wins as she takes home her free reading materials and devours them all in one night. Tired but inspired, Nora decides to start rallying for women to have the right to vote. 

In The Divine Order Nora is someone to root for, at times someone to feel sorry for, and someone to also be proud of. From the beginning, we get an idea of just how hard working Nora is, as we watch her bike up and down snow-covered hills just to visit her older sister at her farm. I could almost feel the cold bitter wind against my legs, as I took in the picturesque sights on the screen in the theater. (The shots in this movie were exquisite.)

Inevitably conflict arises in Nora’s household. Husband Hans, Maximilian Simonischek (Gotthard) struggles between supporting his wife and his social dignity, and her sons struggle with repercussions at school. Despite the backlash, Nora refuses to keep her head or voice down – she decides to go on strike with other women in the town. 

There’s an immense swelling of true sisterhood in The Divine Order that brings tears to my eyes. Not to mention a few great laughs like when Nora tells her husband that she has a tiger between her legs (something she learns in a hippie workshop) and that she’s NEVER had an orgasm. 

Without Nora at home, poor Hans is left to cook nothing but eggs for the family since it’s all he knows how to make. I sat there laughing and thinking to myself “Yeah! Let the bastards starve and fend for themselves!” feeling quite smug for Nora. (Personally for me, I couldn’t be with anyone who didn’t know how to cook a meal or go down on me.) I couldn’t contain my knowing laughter having dealt with many suitors in the past that were either devastatingly disappointing, or alarmingly average. It took me a long time to get over being polite, and to start speaking up – but I finally did it and so did Nora. 

There was not one single weak performance by any of the actors in The Divine Order. Leuenberger is fantastic as Nora. One of the biggest highlights for me was the light-up globe she spins at night with her sons. A poetic metaphor for how big she knows the world is, and how small and sheltered she feels in a town that is clearly behind the times. 

It is such a privilege and a pleasure to watch these characters develop and grow. The Divine Order is a MUST SEE!

About the Contributor

Meet Kayla: A real Jane of all trades and master of none; she has gone from photography school to the military, to conservation work. Now she resides in Auckland, New Zealand, working in IT and teaching herself several programming languages. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Kayla started her own film club for women in Auckland before being introduced to Narrative Muse and joining the team. She loves being around other creative people and drinking copious amounts of cold brew coffee.