The story centers around a fairly large group of women with children that contemplate three different possibilities in order to deal with the abuse inflicted on them by the men in their society. Do nothing, stay and fight or leave are the options a smaller circle of women considers while meeting in the upper loft of a barn. Ona (Rooney Mara), Mariche (Jessie Buckley), Agata (Judith Ivey), Greta (Sheila McCarthy), Salome (Claire Foy), Neitje (Liv McNeil), Mejal (Michelle Mcleod), youngsters Autje (Kate Hallett), Helena (Shayla Brown) among a few others discuss the implications of their three options as August (Ben Whishaw) an educated teacher who is an outcast from the men’s society takes notes on the women’s words. Melvin (August Winter) went so far as to dress and look like a man to prevent her from further attacks.
The rapes, the physical abuse, mental abuse, the drugs to knock out the women so men could have their way with them while they are passed out are all issues the women are faced with in their colony which is set up in a separate region than the men. Overall, the women know they have to do something even if it falls against their deep religious beliefs.
The film is mainly dialogue with some other slight scenes outside of the barn loft. Which according to the story it is the conversation that is the main focus not the farmland or the daily chores. It is a group of abused women trying to decide on the fate of their future and religion. It appears to look mainly black and white but there is a shadow of color at times along with some beautiful country scenes and children playing in the fields. The costumes are simple yet fit for the society which to some degree mirrors that of the Amish! If you stray from the dialogue, you may get lost so best to listen closely to what all the women say during their meetings. All of the actors do nice work with their lines, expressions and thought-provoking ideas but with the lack of more cinematic moments I’m not sure this will be a money-maker at the box office. It actually would have been nice to see a bit more of Scarface Janz (Frances McDormand) in the film other than the small role she plays. As for the animals there are several, from horses, chickens and cows all of which are portrayed as typical farm life creatures.