Nobody's Wife

Director: Maria Luisa Bemberg

Maria Luisa Bemberg’s intriguingly feminist film caused quite a sensation in her native Argentina, for her tale about a married mother who leaves her husband and children after discovering that her husband had cheated on her. She moves in with a relative, only to discover that the elder women in her culture and family don’t understand her decision and can’t see why she would risk losing her husband, so she decides to become independent, getting a job in real estate, going to therapy and relying on the kindness of good friends including a young gay man with love problems of his own. Bemberg’s film rings with authenticity, illustrating the struggles a separated woman must face and it’s a struggle Bemberg herself knew firsthand as she left a life she considered "asphyxiating" and uneventful in her forties by obtaining a divorce once her children had reached adulthood (as shared in "The St. James Women Filmmakers Encyclopedia"). Bemberg is intelligent enough not to make the idea of leaving a man an easy choice as there are children involved and there’s an achingly real scene wherein the woman confronts her two young sons to tell them that she must live elsewhere, tearfully pleading that they must do this one thing for her. Controversial for its questioning of the strong male-dominated Catholic culture and the depiction of a heartwarming friendship of instinctive compatibility with a gay man (preferring kindness and sensitivity over a smooth, talking, philandering macho straight man), Bemberg’s film busted taboos and proved quite a hit with female audiences, setting the writer/director on a memorable cinematic path.