Entertainment, Review

Suffragette Film Review – ‘Votes for Women!’

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By Hannah Lewis

The arrival of the film, Suffragette, in cinema’s has undoubtedly captured the attention of both the media and the population, and once I heard about it I knew I had to see it. Suffragette is directed by Sarah Gavron and features Hollywood heavyweights Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep, all of whom gave amazing performances. It follows the true story of British women’s fight for emancipation and the backlash they (the suffragettes) faced from society.

Following the life of an ordinary working class factory worker, mother and a wife: Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), the film shows the appallingly dangerous conditions of women in factory work and pitiful pay compared to men, simply because they’re women. Maud’s background unfolds through the film and it is revealed that she works for her sexual abuser, who has since moved on to a younger girl working in the factory. After all this information is revealed, it is still a surprise and a complete act of bravery, that Maud to go against her husband’s wishes in order to fight for her rights; no mean feat for an Edwardian working class woman.

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Suffragette does not sugar coat the atrocities that women had to face in order to gain the right to do something we take for granted today. Women were beaten and imprisoned by the police for protesting and merely listening to the speeches of the movement’s leaders. The shocking police brutality and forced feeding of prisoners on hunger strike provokes the greatest sympathy and pride for the women who were subjected to these awful acts. The accuracy of the film provides a powerful message, especially the inclusion of the martyrdom of Emily Wilding Davidson, who was killed when attempting to pin the suffrage flag to the King’s horse in order to gain an international reaction and support for the movement.

Additional to the actual film, before the credits a timeline of when women across the world received the right to vote is shown, or perhaps more shockingly, the realisation that some women still do not have this basic right. The fact of the matter is that women still do not have equality, and it is incredibly important that this is brought to the attention of the masses. The protest against domestic abuse at the London premier of the film is a perfect example of this, and when the actors were asked their opinion on the protest it was met with encouragement.

Suffragette features heart wrenching scenes and moments of complete horror, but regardless of your opinion on the film, you cannot deny that it has added momentum to the fight for women’s rights. Suffragette is definitely a film worth seeing.

Hannah is a second year History student who enjoys dancing and posting of her food blog, which you can find here.

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