22Oct

Why I Recommend “Suffragette”

suffragette

Suffragette hits theaters today and I can’t express how important it is for you to see this film…with your mothers, with your girlfriends, with your daughters. I can say it firsthand as I saw a preview screening it but I have also done something very special that accentuates my interest in the film and gives me credence when advising you to see this film. I spent a lovely afternoon having tea with the movie’s production team: Director Sarah Gavron, writer Abi Morgan and producers Alison Owen and Faye Ward. I was also thrilled to meet Helen Pankhurst, the real life great-granddaughter of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst who sparked the movement (played by Meryl Streep). Their collected passion and real interest in the story and history that led to the creation of Suffragette was infectious, but the movie itself will never leave you.

Inspired by true events, the story revolves around the early 20th century campaign of the Suffragettes, who were activists for Women’s Suffrage – the right of women to vote. Women risked everything they had to gain this right -  their jobs, their homes, their children, and even their lives. The story centers on Maud, played by Carey Mulligan, a working wife and mother who becomes an activist for the Suffragette cause alongside women from all walks of life, including pharmacist Edith Ellyn, played by Helena Bonham Carter, co-worker Violet Miller, played by Anne-Marie Duff, and upper-class Alice Haughton, played by Romola Garai. Their fight is long and hard and will leave you struck with a feeling of activism like none other you have felt in a long time.

The film is beautifully shot and is so powerful. If you’re a supporter of women’s rights, or even human rights for that matter, you really can’t miss it. The acting is also brilliant, particularly Mulligan, whose eyes expresss more in a brief moment of fear and sadness than any words could convey. And the story is so important, so relevant, focusing on issues, women and inequality. I loved meeting the creators of the film and want to share a few facts about the filming process with you, straight from their mouths, and why you should see it.

The story holds up and is as relevant today as it was then. 

We’re still fighting for equality. This film is about women, the voiceless. – Producer Alison Owen

It’s a story that demands to be told.

All of this happened 100 years ago. I was amazed that this extraordinary and powerful true story of ordinary women willing to sacrifice everything for the right to vote had never been told. – Sarah Gavron

The film was made by an all female production team. 

It made it a comfortable space to be in, allowing me more control oer and involvement in the material. Abi Morgan

The film was carefully researched, interweaving in several stories in the plotline.

We wanted to counter the misperception that it was only the wealthy who were in this movement. We pored over unpublished letters, police records – ones about Suffragette surveillance had only just been released by the National Archive in 2003 – and academic texts. – Gavron

The film will get people talking.

We’re aware there are sensitivities. We wanted the film to provoke discourse about the battles that are taking place all over the world. We feel extremely passionate about diversity behind the camera. We must shift the ratio of films made by women. – Abi Morgan

Suffragette is a universal story for today and about equality. At the end of the film, there’s a timeline of countries and dates women were granted the right to vote, which is actually quite shocking as many iddle-eastern countries only recently provided the right to women, and Saudi Arabia hasn’t fully given women the right. See it this weekend and tell everyone you know and let’s keep the discourse happening.

Disclosure: I was invited to a screening and press event to promote SUFFRAGETTE but all opinions are my own.

suffragette

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