On Wednesday night I was privileged to see a preview of Suffragette a film released next week about the suffragette movement in the UK campaigning for votes for women. My friend Caroline writes film reviews and was given 2 tickets to attend our local cinema to watch the film the same time as the BFI London Film Festival Premiere.
Before the film started they did a little ‘from the red carpet’ which was fairly interesting; although Ben Whishaw didn’t seem to have a clue what film he was talking about I feel like he possibly didn’t do his research, but Carey Mulligan gave a lovely response when interviewed talking about how she didn’t really know anything about the movement until she became involved in the film, and I think this is scarily true of a lot of people. To me the suffragettes tied themselves to railings and jumped in front of a horse to get what they wanted but this film taught me a lot more.
Suffragette takes a less stereotypical approach, instead of focusing on the actions of Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Street has just one small scene as Pankhurst) it follows the story of Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) a laundry girl who unintentionally becomes involved and as a result loses everything she had. It’s really quite heart breaking and Mulligan does such a good job or portraying a woman who is very much manipulated into joining the movement by a new work friend Violet (Anne-Marie Duff) and what I suppose you could consider the area leader Edith Ellyn (Helena Bonham Carter).
What I really enjoyed about this film was that it didn’t glorify the actions of the women it showed the real impacts being involved had on these women’s lives; the brutality of the police, the treatment from men and other women, the fear of prison and personal losses they all suffered. I also never considered the fact that women weren’t all uniting to gain the vote, but instead lots of women were happy continuing how they were. It’s a really enjoyable film whilst also a little mini history lesson. I’m sure schools will be showing this in history lessons for years to come.
You can read my friend Caroline’s film review here :).