This post is about our going together to see – on the day it opens – SUFFRAGETTE, starring Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham-Carter. The film details the darkest days of the women’s suffrage movement in the UK, when its participants embraced radicalism in order to, finally, be heard. Using both fictional and actual characters, this historic film drama focuses on the suffrage movement’s involvement and impact on working class women – not the society matrons often portrayed as its founders. SUFFRAGETTE has already opened in the UK and will be in limited release in the US as of October 23rd. The plan is to go to the first commercial afternoon showing of the film in New York. MWC Members will be asked to sign up – just so we know how many are going and can meet up – because it has not yet been announced which theaters in New York will have the film on its opening day.
A NYTimes article on SUFFRAGETTE will appear over the week-end, but CLICK HERE to get an advance peek. The women filmmakers behind SUFFRAGETTE (director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan) have created a working-class composite character, Maud (approximately a contemporary of many of our great-grandmothers) who is drawn into the movement almost against her will. The movie uses her as the protagonist who drives the plot, lets the viewer experience the context in which the UK movement developed, has us meet historic characters (such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Edith Ellyn) and re-creates some of the pivotal events during the period.
It’s easy to forget at this point that the drive for universal women’s suffrage – in the UK and in the US – was as brutal, heart-wrenching and painful as any more recent social movement. While providing a gripping drama, SUFFRAGETTE appeals to us to appreciate the thousands of women who became radicalized and violent as they gambled their homes, jobs, family and lives in their fight for equality for future generations. Few would suggest that, over a hundred years later, full equality has been achieved but without the profound and personal risk-taking of the characters portrayed in SUFFRAGETTE, the conversation would never have started.
MWC’ers, please go to the Reservations/ Payments page to RSVP so we know if you’d like to join the group.
Take a look at the trailer, below: