Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' presents striking oppression, silent sisterhood

by Rose Pacatte

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The first thing that really hits you when you begin watching "The Handmaid's Tale" (a new series based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, now streaming on Hulu) is the color palette, especially red and green. At first subtle and tarnished, as if filmed through a beige, nylon stocking filter, the hues become vibrant, dominant and highly significant as the series opens up like the fertility image of a flower in bloom. Slowly, the muted and then deep hues act as a hypnotic lure to pull you into this bleak dystopian tale of violent oppression vis-à-vis human freedom.

In the not too distant future, corporations and government have destroyed the environment of the United States. Pollution, artificial birth control and abortion are blamed for widespread infertility. After a revolution that destroys the United States and establishes a Christian theocracy with the biblical name Republic of Gilead (means "hill of testimony"), society is restructured and organized anew by gender and class, to the benefit of the men.

Read the full review at National Catholic Reporter.