By Libby Hill
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Three women are the guiding force behind Hulu’s new series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” From production to costumes to design, these talented women bring life to the translation of Margaret Atwood’s prose.
Los Angeles Times
Men may rule the fictional dystopian world of Gilead, the suffocating and misogynist setting of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but women were instrumental to the team that breathed life into that world.
Three women in particular proved foundational in translating Margaret Atwood’s prose for the screen, creating a world of subjugation meant to torture their own kind.
Reed Morano, director of the first three episodes, was responsible for setting the visual tone and establishing the style for the episodes to follow.
Production designer Julie Berghoff labored over the bricks and mortar (and wallpaper and accoutrements) that brought Gilead to life.
Costume designer Ane Crabtree crafted striking, yet utilitarian fashion that created instantaneously recognizable social divisions.
These women’s contributions were heartening to those fans who were concerned when Bruce Miller was announced as the creator, writer and executive producer. To put it bluntly, some were distressed by the fact that Miller is a man.
Or, rather, a boy.
That’s how Miller refers to himself in a phone interview when discussing the challenges of depicting Gilead.
“One of the big aspects of ‘Handmaid’s’ was that Offred (Elisabeth Moss) was victimized by a society that was institutionally misogynist,” Miller said, pausing. “There are aspects of that you just can’t understand being a boy.”
In the series, which some critics have deemed disconcertingly timely, the United States has crumbled and a new regime called Gilead has risen, forcing a caste system on citizens, focused solely on raising flagging birthrates. Families are ripped apart and fertile women are forced into sexual slavery and stripped of basic human rights.