Smash windows, ladies! In Suffragette, Meryl Streep plays British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who helped (white) women get the right to vote in 1918. A factory worker named Maud (Carey Mulligan), a young wife and mother, becomes a foot soldier within the movement – at the expense of her family – and much of the film follows her journey.
Suffragette is directed by Sarah Gavron and written by Abi Morgan, who created The Hour (the terrific yet short-lived BBC period drama starring Ben Whishaw) and wrote the screenplays for The Iron Lady and Shame. It also stars Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, Romola Garai, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson.
A drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational.
I love the cast and the trailer is very dramatic, with Maud standing up for herself: “What are you going to do? Lock us all up? We’re in every home, we’re half the human race, you can’t stop us all.” Can’t wait!
Suffragette will be released in theaters on October 23, 2015.