An Evening With Margaret Atwood

With so many impressive blockbuster hits, it’s remarkably easy to forget that Cineplex Theatres offers a variety of cultural and art based performances. By making events like ballet performances accessible, more residents in both urban and rural spaces have equal opportunity to access cultural touchstones. 

This is an impressive quality for an entertainment venue. By establishing so many different series, there are greater chances to redevelop performances for digital production, letting hundreds of Cineplexes globally have a fantastic occasion to connect with live performances.

Thankfully, even the written word can have a chance to come to life on screen, and this includes Margaret Atwood’s most recent novel, The Testaments. Filmed live from the UK and broadcasted across five continents, fans were able to watch a stunning interview conducted by Samira Ahmed, and get brief glimpses of text by means of monologue. 

For over thirty years, fans have been anxiously hoping for a sequel to the beloved dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale. The original structure of the novel had been so clever in intertwining real world realities that it made it an exhaustingly brilliant piece of work, as well as a grim awakening. Atwood has rarely been silent about the challenges to attain equality and the forces currently at play politically, and it shows in her writing.

In recent years, due to particular American politics, the symbol of the Handmaid has become increasingly popular, popping up at protests and rallies. Known for bright red robes and white bonnets, women have taken to protesting silently, while using strong visual symbolism to state their opposing views. Even in the interview herself, Atwood reminds audiences that the visual representation of the Handmaid wouldn’t fair so well in a time period of radio coverage, due to how the image itself has transcended media, becoming an iconic figure by means of physical appearance. 

It is a rarity watching a novel (properly) come to life on a cinema screen, especially by means of an interview. By connecting both The Handmaid’s Tale and the newly released The Testaments, viewers were able to witness the clever mind of Atwood at work, divulging personal experiences in both East and West Germany, struggles to move away from the project itself, and also how to navigate the difficulties in establishing the sequel. With the original novel left on such a bleak yet vaguely optimistic note, readers had been desperate for some sort of sequel to resolve the ending, but the original voice of the narrator seemed to have vanished in the aftermath of the novel.

Instead, The Testaments intertwined three different characters while further unraveling our current political landscape, granting a form of closure that comes with revisiting vaguely familiar territory. June’s story was finished in The Handmaid’s Tale, but the world Atwood established was far bigger than just one woman.

Watching Atwood speak is always a gift. Fans have flocked to Masterclass in the past year or so to discover her secrets to creative writing, as well as the charm that comes with her dialogue. There is an intimacy that she shares with the audience, slipping out potent remarks that linger in her absence, and that also flesh out so much of her writing. It isn’t often that viewers are able to witness an interview that dives into historical figures, the difficulties of German typewriters, and also the shared pain of messy handwriting.

Viewers were given the privilege of watching Ann Dowd, Lily James, and Sally Hawkins read for the text itself, bringing exciting life to the words created by Atwood. With the novel newly released on the same day as the interview, each monologue was carefully chosen to avoid an excess of spoilers.

This once in a lifetime event was plenty magical, and a reminder of the power that comes with world building. However, if you missed out, there is an upcoming documentary about Atwood that will shed insight to her early life and career in writing, as well as the massive impact she made on the landscape of Canadian literature. 

It’s been a while since a book has been released with the same hype the Harry Potter books had, so it is refreshing to feel the same excitement that comes with a newly released novel, paired with such an invigorating cinematic experience.


Rachel Small

Rachel Small is not a small person and might be the present day reincarnation of Lizzie Borden. She crawled to life one night after midnight in the basement of a bookstore before taking on the role as a fashion blogger.

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