Film Review: Suffragette
Belinda Hamilton reviews Suffragette.
Directed by Sarah Gavron
Remember the mother from Mary Poppins, singing heartily about her sister Suffragettes? This film is a long way from the frilly frivolity of spoon-fulls of sugar and spit spots.
Emmeline Pankhurst has had a gutful of inaction in the women’s rights moment and decides to rally the foot soldiers to create anarchy to get the message across. “Deeds not Words.”
We fall into the movie as Suffragettes take aim with rocks and anything they can get their hands on to break multiple panes of glass in 1912. We follow Maud (based on the real life Suffragette, Hanna Mitchell) as she gets swept up in the women’s moment.
Along the way we see the bitter pill many women in the Suffragettes had to swallow. Be it losing their jobs, their children, being ostracised, being thrown out on the street by their unsupportive husbands or being beaten; not only by the males in their lives but the police.
The casting is superb. Edith Ellyn (based on Barbara Gould) played by Helena Bonham Carter, makes me want to wave the flags and don the sash. And as for the few minutes Emmeline Pankhurst, played by Merryl Streep is on the screen you can clearly see she was such a force of Nature.
The watershed moment of the suffragette moment is also covered in the film. Emily Wilding Davis played by Natalie Press. But you’ll have to either do a little research or see the film yourself.
The one thing that boggled my mind was the timeline displayed at the very end before the credits roll.
The last decade of the 1800’s was when New Zealand became the first self-governed colony in the world to allow ALL women to vote. But it took 122 years for Saudi Arabia to catch up when in 2015 women were finally given the right to vote.
Suffragette is at the end of its run in the cinemas but hopefully it won’t be too long a wait for the DVD release; and if there is any justice in the world, the DVD will be jam packed full of history filled extras.
We may think the work those ‘pesky’ suffragettes were marching toward is done and dusted, but baby, we’ve still got a long, long way to go.
If you saw Suffragette please let me know what you thought.