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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Suffragette (2015)

This movie chronicles the rise of a violent approach to trying to achieve the vote in Britain in 1912.  The movie covers about a year in time, and doesn't finish the story, which happens in 1918 when women get the vote in parallel with what men have.  Maud Watts (ably played by Carrie Mulligan) is the prototype of the sort of woman who was a foot soldier in this battle.  She works in a laundry, where the work has long hours and is dangerous.  In addition, the owner unapologetically  sexually abuses the youngest of the staff and Maud was no exception in her younger days.  That was the fate of women and men were largely unprotective and non-proactive about how their wives and daughters were treated.
So that is the backdrop against which women started to move away from peaceful leafleting and meeting with political figures to demonstrating in the street, going to jail, and being forcibly and brutally coerced to fall in line with the status quo.  This movement did not achieve their goals, but they did raise awareness.  The movie paints a broad brush, which is a weakness, but largely gives the philosophy of women who had no acknowledged value to society trying to affect change.

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