Misery and Fortune of Women

Part One A song in praise of the doctor’s skill:
Sergej Eisenstein’s and Grigori Alexandrov’s film Women in Distress – Women’s Happiness was shot in Switzerland. It grew out of the already passé genre of German "hygiene" films that profited from "informing" the public on sexual matters; but Misery and Fortune of Women, by two of the most celebrated Soviet film artists, hired by producer Lazar Wechsler, is an out-and-out treatise on the need for legal abortions at a time when two million European women each year sought clandestine abortions. The first, narrative half of the film-beautifully shot in classic Soviet montage style-tells of a woman who seeks an abortion of her fifth pregnancy and two others who are left pregnant and single. Stirrups in the doctor's office become a symbol for the self-righteous medical establishment that sends the women to brutal abortionists. The film's second half is a documentary on proper medical treatment of women, though a constructivist joy in the modern makes even these supposedly benign health workers and their marvelous machines seem formidable. This unflinching film was followed by a trail of controversy.
  • DirectorEduard Tiss, Sergej Eisenstein
  • AuthorGrigori Aleksandrov
  • CameraEmil Berna, Eduard Tisse
  • ActorsJohannes Steiner, Walpurga Gmür, und anonymen SchauspielerInnen
  • MusicMartin Uhl
  • produced byLazar Wechsler
  • CountriesSwitzerland
  • GenreFilm
  • Year1929
  • Length62 min
  • TopicAbortion
  • FormatMasterband Film 35mm (BW with sound)
  • SubtitlesGerman, English, French

  • Genre Film
  • Year 1929
  • Length 62 min
  • Topic Abortion
  • Countries Switzerland
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