Cor, where to start with this one. I normally really, really love a historical, true story within a movie and I think it’s fundamental (long word for this kind of blog! Lol) to address events that have happened in the past that gives us the lives we have today. However, I think there is a very thin line between something fantastically informative and something that is just a little bit depressing.
One of my favourite films ever is ‘Walk the line’ based on the life of Johnny Cash. I love films/books that share historical people/events: Inglorious Bastards, Public Enemies, The Boat the Rocked, The Iron Lady, The Kings Speech, The Imitation Game, 12 years a Slave, The Blind Side etc. I love history and I love finding out how different people found their path and changed how we live. It baffles me to find one person to have genuinely changed the world. The suffragettes movement is one of those things. They have changed every single woman’s life in the UK and the world! They risked their lives and we should always be thankful for that. I don’t want people to ever think I am not massively impressed and grateful for what they did. They were heroes.
I just feel like the film portrayed it in more of a ‘got stuck in the idea of suffragettes and didn’t really want to be there’ sort of a way. It showed the life of a 24-year-old laundry worker called Maud Watts. She became a suffragette by chance and continued to support them. Some of it was quite gripping and I did enjoy the storyline with her little boy and what used to happen when mothers ‘joined the cause’. However, the scene where she starved herself for 5 days and was then force-fed milk after being tied and having an instrument forced up her nose was extremely painful to watch. Of course, we know what happened and we know how horrific it was, but I’m not sure it needed to be so graphic.
This film just completely drained me and I found it really disheartening to watch as you didn’t see what happened to the characters eventually – what happened to them? Was Maud homeless and starving for the rest of her life? Did any more of them die? Did Violet have a little baby girl, who grew up to have the rights her Mum had fought for? What about the hideous factory manager who raped her 12 year old daughter? Did any of it make their lives any better at the time, or were they just miserable and lonely?
A very powerful and important message, but unfortunately, I just didn’t enjoy the brutal, one-story way that it was portrayed. I know that this is one of the most important and worth-while causes in our British history. Votes for women was something that women fought for, regardless of the consequences and I feel like there could have been more of a rounded story. Maybe there was a better way to share it and celebrate the difference that these women made?
Peace and love,
Polly May xx