The true history of the battle for the right to vote by women has quite literally been suppressed. Sure we know that there was a suffragette movement – but not the response to that movement in the UK. And, many do not know that the first success was in England.
This film – a docudrama based upon real events is informative, and enlightening. Excellently presented and understated as the actions themselves shout at the viewer. The punishments, including death and imprisonment should be known to all women who do not want to take the time to vote. The women who did fight for it clearly paid prices which in hindsight, are horrific. Not just imprisonment, but being shunned, violently attacked and beaten by the police, and even having their children taken away from them. At the time – women were not allowed to make decisions regarding their children, only men were. It was the ‘law’ – and women had no voice in the creation of those laws. And, it is difficult to believe that even today, men are still attempting to make decisions and choices for women – a true reflection of a patriarchal society.
The conditions under which women worked at the time is shocking, as is the fact that they began work as early as seven years old. The suffragette were not shrinking violets – and some even called therm terrorists when they resorted to terrorist acts when the government refused to act upon their requests. Whether they were or not will be a decision left up to you as it is a subjective one.
The actors portrayed the real historical characters without doing so in a sympathetic light – that is because with only the historical facts – one could not help but empathize. The sheer terror surrounding their struggle is accurately presented when researched according to historical press coverage.
If you think that the struggle for women’s right to vote and other rights was merely women marching wearing white dresses – or aristocratic ‘housewives’ who had nothing to do – prepare yourself for a rude awakening. Brilliantly and honestly produced. This film should be required viewing at all academic levels.