Michele Placido’s Film “7 Minutes” at the Moscow Film Festival. Reviewed by Rachel Sims


One of the films I was able to see at the Moscow film festival was the film 7 minutes. This film takes place in a small town in Italy although as the director Michele Placido commented in his speech prior to the film, it could have taken place almost anywhere. Inspired by 12 Angry Men, this film focuses on the 11 women on the workers board as they vote yes or no on a proposition by a french company who is buying the business.  At first the companies proposal to keep all workers at full salary in exchange for only 7 minutes off of the workers 15 minute break seems like a no brainer for these desperate workers until the union leader puts her vote in as a no. Considering that a refusal of the company’s proposal would mean the factory shutting down, this action causes an explosive argument to erupt among the women as they debate what this vote means for their rights as workers and their lives.
The setting of this film takes place almost entirely within the walls of the factory except for the brief glance at a few of the women’s mornings in the beginning. This creative decision in the films setting helps emphasize the women’s’ reliance on the factory and show that despite each of  the women having unique backgrounds, their lives take place in the factory. Without it they appear to not exist. This adds to the pressure that is placed on the vote, leaving even the audience scared that the vote may be no, despite having nothing themselves on the line. In this way, the moral dilemma of the film is not merely hypothetical, and instead the audience itself is painfully aware of what doing the right thing will cost.