Suffragette was released in the UK on the 7th Oct and overall it got fabulous reviews.
The group know as the ‘Suffragettes’ was founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst, played in the film by Meryl Streep. Just from the cast I could tell it was going to be an amazing film as it also featured Helena Bonham-Carter and Carey Mulligan, two of my all time favourite actresses and self-proclaimed feminists.
I have to admit that despite being a self proclaimed, enthusiastic feminist, I knew minimal about the group and what they did, apart from the fact that they were fighting for and eventually succeeded in getting women the vote. And sadly I think many other people can say the same. That’s why this film is so groundbreaking. Released at a time when discussion about feminism and what it really means to be a feminist seems to be on everyone’s lips, (for the record, the dictionary definition of feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes, none of this man-hating stuff that the media seem to only want to report about,) it is one of the most topical yet enjoyable films I have seen in a very long time. In fact, it was so refreshing to see something that was inspiring and true and got my blood boiling, rather than just another RomCom or action movie that seem to be released every other day the moment.
One of the aspects that really grabbed my attention was the control of the media. As a journalism student I know all about the rich old white men who rule the industry, in fact I am warned of them on a daily basis in my lectures and seminars. This was highlighted in just the best way possible. Nothing these brave women were doing was getting into the press because of who they were, until somebody died. Someone, in this case suffragette Emily Davison, had to lose her life in one of the most dramatic ways possible for these women to be heard. The sad thing is, I can see many similarities still relevant today. When I held a peaceful protest in Bristol, 6,000 people turned out to protest against austerity measures, we had to fight to get it on local news, let alone at a national level. However smaller protests that have taken place in Bristol have had national press when they have become violent, and young people can be passed off as mugs. The same happened just yesterday (November 4th) at the protest for free education. It makes me so mad it makes my blood boil. Literally. The public deserve to know everything that is going on in the world, the good and the bad. The media have so much power over the way the public think, it is just a mirror of reality – and they showed that, they showed the struggled the women had with this is the film. Bravo.
But we still have a long way to go.
What I want to applaud is that the script kept the Suffragette’s slogan at heart. ‘Deeds not words.’ No one was listening to them, so they made them listen, which was incredibly brave for that time in history. It was also great that Helena Bonham-Carter’s reminded the women at every moment possible that no one must be harmed in the process of their deeds. That is just everything that I agree with, and as a women, I feel so proud and so grateful for what they have done for us.
The film was amazing as it also highlighted just how much these women gave up just to campaign for us to have a basic human right, the right to vote. A human right that was not given to women in the UK until 1918, in France until 1944 and is still not given to women in current day Saudi Arabia. It is an absolute disgrace.
Something still needs to be done, and with women like my hero Malala out campaigning for a better world, hopefully we will get there soon.
This film reignited the fire inside me for justice, taught me so much and tug at my heartstrings. I would absolutely recommend going, if not just for the amazing performances from these amazing actresses and to learn a bit more about our disgraceful history. Enjoy.