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Suffragette

October 22, 2015 by Alison Bailes divider image

“Deeds not words” is the battle cry of Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the women’s suffrage movement in Britain in 1912. It’s a dangerous exhortation, especially these days when terrorism has become the evil twin of activism, and watching this film, it’s hard not to think of current social and political unrest around the globe. […]

“Deeds not words” is the battle cry of Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the women’s suffrage movement in Britain in 1912. It’s a dangerous exhortation, especially these days when terrorism has become the evil twin of activism, and watching this film, it’s hard not to think of current social and political unrest around the globe. More explicit are the comparisons to modern day fights for equal rights, equal pay and equal education.

Carey Mulligan (“Far from the Madding Crowd”, “Drive”) is the emotional heart of the story, playing the fictional Maud, a working-class laundress in London. Despite her grueling work, abusive boss and impoverished existence, she is content, with an adorable son and a loving husband Sonny (Ben Whishaw, “Skyfall”). She hardly questions her lot in life until she witnesses a fellow worker committing a “civil act of disobedience” (throwing a brick through a shop window) with the rallying cry “Votes for women!” A mild interest becomes an overriding commitment as she is gradually politicized, ostracized and radicalized. Continue reading


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