MOTHERS. DAUGHTERS. REBELS.
One day in 1912, East End laundress Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) accidentally finds herself in a suffragette riot and becomes drawn into an increasingly more violent struggle for women’s rights. After portraying a Conservative icon in The Iron Lady (2011), writer Abi Morgan took on the suffragette movement and showed the consequences of its leader Emmeline Pankhurst’s call for civil disobedience. The movement’s use of violence has been heavily debated, but the script doesn’t reach any intellectual depths. It does however touch our hearts and the depiction of working-class conditions and how women were treated is infuriating. Very engaging, with strong performances by Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter.
2015-Britain. 106 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Alison Owen, Faye Ward. Directed by Sarah Gavron. Screenplay: Abi Morgan. Cast: Carey Mulligan (Maud Watts), Helena Bonham Carter (Edith Ellyn), Meryl Streep (Emmeline Pankhurst), Natalie Press, Anne-Marie Duff, Romola Garai… Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw.
Trivia: Bonham Carter is the great-granddaughter of one of the Prime Ministers mentioned in the film, H.H. Asquith.
Last word: “I often found myself saying, ‘Can I bring in a bit of [Pankhurst]? But ultimately, even [the Mrs. Pankhurst role] became slimmer in the film, because my desire was to focus on those women who had not had a voice. Sarah and I both felt it was more important to make a film which would be accessible to women globally. So as we looked at this incredibly charismatic leader, who created this structure and was the vocal advocate for the movement, it became more important to give Maud balance.” (Morgan, The Mary Sue)