Paris – le 03 March2020  – Woman Premiere Photocall pendant le Woman Premiere  2020 (Photo by Olivier VIGERIE / Canneseries)

WOMEN ON FILM: “I want this film to hit men hard — but in a good way.”

Speaking at the Paris premiere of her movie “Woman,” which she directed with Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Anastasia Mikova hopes the documentary will create a shift in the perception of womanhood.

“I want men to discover all the things that go on in a woman’s life,” said the director, whose film, which touches on topics as varied as excision, motherhood, the glass ceiling and sexuality, took over four years to make.

“And I want women to see this film as a celebration of how amazing they are,” she continued. “So many of the women we interviewed kept saying, ‘Why me? Go talk to my friend, my neighbor!’ I wish they could realize that they all have an experience to share.”

“Woman,” which is being released in France today, is a compilation of camera-facing interviews of 2,000 women from 50 different countries, including Colombia, China, Ireland, South Africa, France and the U.S.

Some of the interviews are harrowing — women talking about sexual abuse, forced abortion or military horrors — others hilarious, like a young woman from South America complaining that pornography has led most men to use cringey catchphrases in bed. All of them remain anonymous: Only their faces are revealed to the camera.

Woman by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Anastasia Mikova

“Woman” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Anastasia Mikova  Courtesy

A team of 80 women worked as local fixers for the journalists filming in each country, and most interviews lasted two hours long. “You can’t improvise intimacy,” Mikova said. “The keys to this project were time and trust.”

Moments before the projection started, Mikova and Arthus-Bertrand took to the stage to thank the companies and individuals who supported the project, including LVMH Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

“The question of a woman’s place within society is a current issue, and one that particularly matters to us,” said Antoine Arnault, head of communications and image at LVMH, adding that Arthus-Bertrand is part of the LVMH executive committee. “Our company employs a great number of women and, pragmatically speaking, most of our clients are women. It’s a subject that has been close to our heart for years.”

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