A vote given in deciding a controversy question or electing a person for an office or trust .
A woman who worked to get voting rights for women in the Past, when women were not allowed to vote.
Occasionally certain films go beyond being ” a film”. Certain films just leave the cinema – silent.
Schndler’s List one example
And Suffrgatte another .
This Post is largely directed at girls – young women – in PACE
And whilst I don’t want to make any boys – young men – feel in any way excluded, offended or marginalised . I think this post’s significance is more pertinent to a current female cause. I just really want “the girls” to go see it, I feel they need to more than anything.
This said , don’t not read what I have to say, because you have an out…there is a lesson here for all of you
So as I said Every girl should try to see this – at what age ? That really depends on your maturity.
When do you start to ask yourself – am I ready to know more ?
Only you will know, but in truth, sometimes we all need a push in the right direction?
There is nothing contentious in this ” historical play ” brought to the “bigger screen” as certificate warning – nothing more than a more public fight that our female counterparts faced at the turn of last century .
A struggle that was started long before and one which has been salient throughout known civilisation .
You maybe touched on this Suffrage subject in a history class and like many other ” topics ” knew a couple of facts :
The public disturbances
The chaining to the railings of parliament buildings
The hunger strikes and force feeding in prison
And perhaps about the death of Emily Wilding Davison – a young woman- under the hooves of the king’s horse at the infamous Derby Race.
Images like these never tell the true story until you experience , a little more of what it was like , in those times , under those emotional conditions – they just look outdated?
This ” film ” goes a long way to share this suffrage and this determined emotion and to bring female struggle for the vote , for human rights , bang up to date.
This affects all of us , you and your future children too.
I think to concentrate on just the performances or acting in this film would be to undermine its power to educate .
To make it seem like “just another movie with bigger stars”.
It seems almost “trivial” to put it in that naff Hollywood bracket. I’ve never felt like this before after seeing a film , I’ve never felt so protective over the art of “who sees it and why they must”
I think because it struck such a tragic chord of injustice with me.
It made me want to keep it – for altruistic reasons- away from the glittery shallow world of some other films.
It is enough to say that the cast of
Helena Bonham Carter
As the suffragettes, play equal part in strength , grace and emotional action
Meryl Streep features briefly , she is almost too much a star for this , as if she , in her huge acting presence might upstage the subject .
As if Miranda Priestly was on set “momentarily and then left”.
I wonder why she was cast? , maybe they needed a bigger Hollywood actress draw to make the film backers put money into it , so it could reach a wider audience and not stay just an art house film. It’s already in a smaller screen venue as it is ….not popular enough for the super screen ( but it should be , it should be packed , and tickets scarce )
Or maybe Meryl just cared passionately about the message ? I heard she did this for a considerably smaller fee than she usually commands , just because she wanted to be part of this screen movement – to be in this ” historical film ” – part of Woman’s Rights.
These fine actresses and actors are humbled by an incredibly well written screenplay by another strong women Abi Morgan who also wrote the screenplays for brilliant films like :
The Iron Lady
All hard hitting emotional social dramas for our time .
The film is equally powerfully directed by a female director ( rare in the film industry and in theatre ) Sarah Gavron who said at its LA premiere :
“I feel very strongly we’re at a tipping point , I can’t remember there being this much momentum behind so many people being vocal about the issue of inequality in the film industry and in other areas . There has been a resurgence of women challenging repression , it really feels like a great moment ”
Whether Hollywood a glittering bastion of Maledom , sat up and listened – is not the point – what is the point is that we as females support the meassge in the film and in our daily lives appreciate the sacrifices made for us and empower ourselves to make the best of our better lives , thanks to them , in future!
This is an emotional film to watch , but emotional at different points for different reasons .
There is a ” like ” female character in all of us here .
As a mother, it is so very painful at times to watch , as a human being it makes the sense of utter injustice so searing and unbelievable , that you want to stand up and say ” no ” .
This is not a film that rants against males . It is not meant to get at them , but about certain traditionally male attitudes ignorantly adopted by a few in positions of power – which is true the world over.
It is not a film that makes us go ” we’re better than you !!” and though at times in the drama space , I as you know , push sexism buttons (to add a little bit of competition to the playing field ) I never intend to be anything more then ” banter ” ( apparently my new signage… )
The male performances are caricature acting exquisite – an innocent little boy , a husband – good , bad and indifferent , a father , an embittered policeman , a sexist lewd employer, a hierarchical figure in unfeeling privileged position , an ineffectual prime minister , a remote king .
A way of being for all men at that time?
A chain to keep woman metaphorically bound.
The acting by all these male characters , like the actresses in their salient roles, is powerful and complete.
They do enough to leave their mark , but never take the stage from the main star of this piece:
” the Suffragette story ”
A story that had many heroines , many moments , many tragic deaths.
A 1000 women gave their lives in one way or another , countless more probably unreported.
It starts with “a small classless group of women ” who work in or around an East End London laundry , under appalling conditions that would break bones and stop hearts .
Their suffrage journey is doubtless edited for “screen time” , but is hard hitting and scene specific enough to leave you Absolutely Silent by the end.
No words are enough to describe it , to do it or them justice – I felt both ashamed and empowered by what I saw.
I can’t remember bits, it’s not about the bits to tell you about anyway , it’s about the bigger picture – which you get “in shocking list form” at the end .
The switch from now till then and back to now is an effect that is best left for you to see and feel.
I would say that on eventually rising from my seat amidst the silent (some obviously teary) others ( for the most part female) there is an unspoken bond of being part of an ” awareness ” of having shared a moment in time” .
You couldn’t come away from this ” unmoved ” unless you are blind to reality , or so caught up in your own sense of it, that nothing can get more truthfully in.
The feeling stays with you long enough I suspect , to want to tell others to go, to encourage them to see it , before it is gone and an opportunity lost , to connect on a better female level.
As I am doing with you.
We are some of us “females” more emotional than others, yes , that’s a given.
But regardlss of whether you cry or not at this , you should at very least feel humble and thankful.
Thankful that films , plays , books like these are written to remind us that we can always do more , that we are special and worth supporting , that we are united in our sex , not alienated beucase of our vanity around others, not simply defined by an approving tick on an Instagram, FB page . More than a quick snap of meaningless communication.
Never be that small, that insignificant in your species. Never give up the fight.
We would all be leading very different lives if it wasn’t for these braver women who said:
” we just want to be equal in this world . We want to have the same rights as you . To be able to work and be paid the same as you , to have a say in the upbringing of our children , to be allowed to go to school and get the same education. To choose to be what we want to be , as you …”
It was a Wrongful System that oppressed and emprisoned women , a system that was allowed to exist from as early as we can historically remember.
There is a fascinating documentary series on BBC 2 called “the power of women ” which showed throughout history , women have had to operate behind closed doors as best they can . That they survive only becusse they can endure so much more than we give ourselves credit for.
Even in the play by Alan Bennett – The History Boys – the comment by the only female professor on the Boys school staff, declares annoyed ” that women have followed men with the bucket all through history boys ! …
A comment that is comically and tragically pertinent.
So , rant over …
It is time to live up to our potential !!
The Spice Girls did it in a 90’s ” pop ” way .
The ” star of this film ” is GIRL POWER like no other .
Better to follow this band of sisters ” to know who you are ” – where you come from and where you need to go to , than any other tuneful copy .
And in footnote to this female biased post.
Should men , boys go see this?
Yes , why not ?
We don’t ask ourselves if we should go to see a band of Brothers type movie , Fast and Furious , Monument Men , Dead Poet Society , Coach Carter …Macbeth , Hamlet …or anything else , even the practically male Everest and the Martian , with token women , was a little patronising in places.
We go to movies and film because it is what we do .
There were 2 males in the audience last night…
…because it was a 5.30 showing? , or maybe more to do with the fact it is maybe classed ” a women’s film “.
A chick flick ?
No …no .
This film is the reason good cinema changes lives and I would challenge anyone who says otherwise.
Regardless of our sex we can all learn from better cinema experiences – can’t we ?
We can all learn to be more tolerant and supportive with each other as human beings.
We can all share this world , this life of ours , on a equal share .
If we are truly two halves of a more perfect globe ; let’s make sure we know everything about each other , before prejudice and stereotypical attitudes come full circle again and take us back to the streets where it all began .
It would be nice to think there are some boys brave enough out there , as actors for a better life – to give this film a try .
I look forward to some heated cultural debate about this film in the coming month.