Fatal Reaction, by director Marijke Jongbloed, is a four-part documentary series about highly educated career women and their problems finding a husband who is their equal. Director Jongbloed’s series explores the choices of professional women in relation to marriage and family in New York, Moscow, Bombay & Singapore. Central dramatic question: Why are so many career women unable to find a compatible partner?
In the last century, the modern woman struggling to break out of the confinements of her traditional fate had a lonely path to clear. Starting with western feminism in the 60’s and 70s women began to demand social positions equal to men. Yet, paternal society reacted reluctantly at first, fuelling often near militant political discussions throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Despite the fact that in the 90s women’s rights were no longer a true political issue in the west, career women still had a hard time finding a suitable mate because on a personal level their financial dominance wasn’t generally accepted.
In 1994 I began to notice that the majority of successful career women I knew were single. I looked questioningly around me: was it just in my own town Amsterdam, or was this a worldwide phenomenon? My quest was at first not an easy one: for most high profile women in my own country, the issue of remaining single, was the one aspect of their lives they didnÂ’t want to talk about. In New York, the women were more open to talk and after my first episode (Fatal Reaction-New York) was released, the discussion caught fire. Newspaper, glosses and talk shows brought the topic out into the open. The more I researched and branched out into the world, the more I realized that this topic is one of the most burning issues of the modern era. Screenings at other film festivals from New York to Sydney have all turned into memorably heated and powerful discussions. My choice to include Bombay into the series was confirmed by the following quote from the controversial Indian writer Shobha De: For most Indian women marriage is a life-long lie. They are in it because their options (if any) are limited. ItÂ’s marriage or wastelandÂ…Â…
Festival Screenings & Awards
This popular documentary series has been aired frequently by numerous broadcasters worldwide. In addition, each part has had a successful international cinema release with prominent screenings at many leading film festivals.
Director: Marijke Jongbloed
Producer: Marijke Jongbloed, Martin Lagestee, Lagestee Film BV
Scenario: Marijke Jongbloed
Camera: Peter Brugman
Editor: Denise Janze
Sound: Gertjan Miedema
Music: Harry de Wit