Suffragette (12A)

Katie Read explores women's suffrage by reviewing the new film, Suffragette.

26th October 2015

I’m sorry if this sounds like a feminist rant to some of you, but I don’t think that you can watch this film without getting angry for these women.

Suffragette is an amazing film that explores the suffrage movement from the view of the working-class women who took part, and who had typically more to lose than their upper-class counterparts. These women were the foot-soldiers of the fight and it’s brilliant that a film has finally been made about them.

This film tells the story of how joining the suffrage movement affected the lives of Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) and Violet Miller (Ann-Marie Duff). Through their characters, we see the struggle that these women suffered daily through a lack of legal rights – domestic abuse, no financial independence, no rights over their own children (by law, children belonged to their father) and even sexual abuse in the workplace. Nothing much was done to help these women from men taking advantage of their vulnerability.

"While some scenes are harrowing to watch, this highlights the importance of the struggle to get the vote"

While some scenes are quite uncomfortable and harrowing to watch, this only highlights the importance of the struggle to get the vote for women and how far they were willing to go to make this happen. Women had demonstrated peacefully for years but no-one listened, and after watching this film, I completely understand why they went so far.

Suffragette is powerful and doesn’t sugar-coat the treatment of the eponymous heroines, you see what happened to them, the conditions they were forced to suffer, and while at times this was hard to watch, it’s actually one of the best things about the film.

It might sound a bit cliché, but this film is a must-see, for understanding a vital part of our history, and the struggle that is still going on in the world today.

Rating: 4/5

More like this: Hunger (2008)

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