What it's about:
The foot soldiers of, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. Inspired by the nineteenth century women's movement Women's Social and Political Union. This film depicts the early feminist movement which saw women take radical and violent action towards attaining the political freedoms they deserve - and they are willing to lose everything in their fight for equality.
What we thought:
The 20th century women's movement, Suffragette finally gets its own movie. Way overdue some might say but it comes at the right time. While things have somewhat improved to a certain degree women are still faced with gender inequality in the workplace, at home and in society.
Director Sarah Gavron and screenwriter Abi Morgan have intertwined the historical story with fictional characters to draw in the modern audience.
Set in a grim, drab London the tale of the movement’s right to secure the female vote unfolds.
The Suffragette movement is given a face as the story centres on the life of everyday woman Maud (Carey Mulligan) and her induction into the movement.
24-year-old Maud has been working in the laundry since she was 12 years old. She has a demeanour and look in her eyes far beyond her years.
Her husband Sonny (Ben Whislaw) works in the same factory and their young son George (Adam Dodd) is the light of her life.
Maud's introduction is by “accident” when she sees one of her co-workers Violet (Anne-Marie Duff) participating in a protest. She reluctantly becomes involved when she is selected to give a testimony to the chancellor.
And so Maud's journey to becoming a Sufragette begins as she joins fellow members Edith (Helena Bonham Carter), Alice (Romola Garai), and their fierce leader Emmeline Pankhurst (Merly Streep) who is in hiding.
One of the most heightened scenes of the film is a peaceful march which takes a turn for the worst when it is infiltrated by police who kick and beat the women. It was a particularly difficult scene to watch.
Desperate for their voices to be heard the protests take a violent turn as they cut telephone wires, set off bombs around the town and even set fire to a minster's house.
Carey Mulligan is without a doubt the star of the film. Her portrayal of a Maud is relevant and relatable. These women went to extraordinary lengths and at great personal cost.
An important theme in the film is the shift from peaceful to violent protests which is especially relevant to the #FeesMustFall movement recently in our own country.
While some might feel it aids to the plight it will also make supporters withdraw and cause the public to lose sympathy.
Suffragette is an important film for everyone to watch and while the story might shock stay for the closing credits which highlights when women were given the right to vote all over the world.
We still have a long way to go to becoming a truly gender equal society.
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