Friday Film Club: Suffragette

Directed by Sarah Gavron

Starring Cary Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter, Meryl Streep and Ben Wishaw

Bold. Poignant. Eye-opening. Just a few of the words I would use to describe Suffragette. A classic in its own right that we should all see at least once, this movie paints an eye-opening depiction of what it was like for women before the actions of those that paved the way for equality. It’s astonishing to realise, that as well as being denied the vote completely until 1918, British women also didn’t have legal rights over their children until the mid-1920s (shown through one of the film’s most heart-breaking scenes, which I’m not ashamed to say had me bawling). The utter desperation that drove these women is made abundantly clear, and it’s impossible not to empathise and applaud their convictions, courage and voice.

Mulligan, Streep and Bonham-Carter all hold their own through their scenes and Gavron takes us through their journeys beautifully; showing us both the serenity and the ugliness. A profound moment comes during the final scene when the credits are about to roll and you’re somewhat annoyed by the absence of a tied-up ending, and then realise and appreciate that that’s exactly the point. It isn’t over. Not by a long shot. You’re left thinking, and you’re left wondering why. What truly makes Suffragette a relevant activist in the fight for equality, is the way it won’t bow to the kind of Hollywood formula that tends to sugar coat how bad it was back then. Because we aren’t talking about fiction, we’re talking about an event in history that influenced and is still influencing a generation. It highlights a significant fact; that the feminist struggle continues and it will continue to do so until we get a chance and change for all.

So here we are in 2018, which marks a centenary since the Representation of the People Act 1918, which permitted some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time. To celebrate this monumental event, we will be hosting an event with Dr Helen Pankhurst, author of Deeds Not Words and great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst. She will be there to talk about the women’s movement and how far we’ve come in the last 100 years.

This will be followed by a screening of 2015 blockbuster Suffragette! Follow the link to book your tickets and come help us celebrate this epic milestone! (Sashes and your best glad-rags optional!)


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