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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Turned a DC on the Verge of Shutdown into a Gilead Hellscape — Watch

Exclusive: IndieWire shares a new featurette about life imitating art imitating life in the Hulu series, which released its third season last summer.

"The Handmaid's Tale"

“The Handmaid’s Tale”

Barbara Nitke/Hulu

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is heading into the 2020 Primetime Emmy season — whatever form that takes — with the third season of the Margaret Atwood adaptation centered on a dystopian society borne out of hegemony and misogyny. While the third season played out on Hulu last summer, in 2019, it’s eligible for Emmy Awards this year following another acclaimed run led by Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Bradley Whitford, Ann Dowd, and more, as well as Amy Landecker and Laila Robins, who joined in Season 3.

Below, IndieWire shares an exclusive featurette about making some of Season 3’s most iconic moments, including a passage set in Washington, DC, where the cast and crew had one day at the end of February to film scenes throughout the nation’s capital, just after the end of the winter government shutdown, and in front of fears that it would shut down again. The scene shows a headless Lincoln Memorial, and a reconstructed Washington monument, and filming had to be done in short intervals, as the National Mall and the Memorial were still open to the public then.

“There are moments in the show where the show and reality meld and there are moments where the line gets really blurry,” said Moss in the video. “That day in D.C., shooting those scenes at that spot, the line just disappeared.”

From IndieWire’s Season 3 review of “The Handmaid’s Tale”: “What’s obvious about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ works wonders. What’s more opaque can create problems. There’s a scene in the sixth episode of Season 3 that takes place at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. To describe any more specifics would cross into spoiler territory, but all you really need to know is the setting and how it’s changed: Here, the statue of Lincoln has been obliterated from the waist up, leaving the former president’s legs and hands intact, but rendering the man himself unidentifiable, as well as all he represents. This is Gilead, the totalitarian government enslaving women under the law of a righteous Old Testament God, so it makes sense they would eradicate any symbol of freedom, inspiration, and hope.”

Watch the exclusive featurette, which includes cast and crew interviews, below.

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