Today I present quite an interesting movie: Suffragette (2015, Rated PG-13, Available on Video).
If you read my blog post yesterday titled FIVE UNFORGETTABLE SUFFRAGETTE FACTS (click HERE if you missed it), then as you watch Suffragette, you'll see that the main character, Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), serves as an emblem for the early feminists who fought for women's rights.
Maud works in a laundry, where her boss has sexually assaulted her for years. She dutifully turns over her pay to her husband, Sonny (Ben Whishaw). When she joins the suffragettes and is arrested, she becomes a pariah in her neighborhood. Sonny takes Maud back, but later shuts her out of his house, offended because she has disobeyed and embarrassed him.
Sonny Watts: I took you on, Maud. Thought I could straighten you out.
Maud Watts: What if you don't have to?
Sonny Watts: You're a mother, Maud. You are a wife. You're my wife, and that's all you're meant to be.
Maud Watts: What if I can't be that anymore?
Sonny thought he could straighten out Maud? I wonder at that line. Is it because Maud had already lost her virginity, through no wish of her own, but it's still her fault that she didn't come to her wedding night as a virgin? Or is it possible that the boss is her son's father, and Sonny married Maud to save her from bearing a bastard?
Whatever the case, Maud then endures at Sonny's hands her greatest torment: the loss of her son, three-year-old George. She has no right to money, no right to her child, and no right to vote. How are Maud and other women to effect a change?
Emmeline Pankhurst: Deeds, not words.
Violent acts become the modus operandi of many of the suffragettes. These acts lead to imprisonment, which leads to hunger strikes, which leads to the horror of force feeding.
Mulligan, as always, gives an excellent performance. She was nominated for the Best Actress BAFTA. Neither the film nor the actors received Academy Award nominations, although we have a favorite of mine, Helena Bonham Carter, in a fine role. Meryl Streep has a small part--but she's Meryl Streep, so she can't help making an impression--as Emmeline Pankhurst.
Suffragette is not a movie for children, but for teens? Absolutely. Watch it with them, and then make sure they know you exercise your right to vote, whether you live in England, Australia, or the U.S., where suffragettes also fought so American women can vote.
Suffragette earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. I watched this movie on a DVD from Netflix, ever so kindly delivered by my local postal worker.
I'll also write a second post about Emily Davison, a compelling character portrayed in the film who was a real person.
I wish you knowledgeable viewing!
Infinities of love,