“I was asleep before. That’s how we let it happen. When they slaughtered Congress, we didn’t wake up. When they blamed terrorists and suspended the constitution, we didn’t wake up then either. Now I’m awake.”
We had a 30-second teaser in January, but now the full trailer for the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has landed, and it’s as chilling as you’d expect.
Starring Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss as Offred, the clip – which you can watch in full below – is just under two minutes long and takes us through America’s transition from civilised society into the dystopian nightmare of Gilead, where women’s rights have been abolished in the name of procreation.
In a climate of falling birth rates and environmental disaster, fertile women are forced into Handmaid roles to provide children for the country’s leaders.
All Handmaids must wear anonymising red and white outfits and take part in humiliating sexual rituals with the couple they live with; in Offred’s case, a commander (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife (Yvonne Strahovski).
In the trailer, we see Offred losing her job and attending protests before trying to escape the country with her husband and child, cut with stark scenes of her life in Gilead: being trained as a Handmaid, lying on the commander’s bed and gazing at a wall covered in blood.
The much-anticipated 10-part series comes to streaming service Hulu 26 April, and, in a world with a Trump-led America, for many it seems a timely reminder that erosion of human rights can happen shockingly quickly.
Author Atwood has previously said the nightmarish vision described in her book is “unfolding in front of your very eyes”, and in a recent interview warned that Trump’s abortion gagging order was a worrying return to old-fashioned ‘values’ that dehumanise women in the name of protecting the unborn, telling The Guardian: “You are seeing a bubbling up of it now. It’s back to 17th century puritan values of New England at that time in which women were pretty low on the hierarchy.”