A drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality - their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational. Written by
Helena Bonham Carter is the great-granddaughter of H.H. Asquith, who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916, during the height of the suffrage movement. He was a staunch opponent of votes for women. See more »
The film shows police Inspector Arthur Steed speeding towards Epsom Race Course in a 1912 De Dion Bouton 8hp Torpedo. This brand of Italian motorcar would have been,probably, too expensive for him to own personally or the British government to purchase for use by an ordinary government official. See more »
Inspector Arthur Steed:
You know, there was a housekeeper on her way back when the bomb went off. She forgot her gloves. If she was two minutes later - what would that have done for your cause? Violence doesn't discern! It takes the innocent and the guilty! What gives you the right to put that woman's life at risk?
What gave you the right - to stand in the middle of a riot and watch women beaten and do nothing? You're a hypocrite.
Inspector Arthur Steed:
I uphold the law.
The law means nothing to me - I've had no say in making the law.
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Solid performances, great period design, and a historical event worth telling. Unfortunately, the script is clichéd, giving us two stock characters -- the Radicalized Innocent and the Worldly Wise Secret Policeman -- who go through their expected paces. You could probably tell the same story today with a European Muslim in the Carey Mulligan role.
Getting involved in Suffragette activism upends the life of Mulligan's character, Maud. It cuts her off from her work, her husband, her child and her community, but it introduces her to a wider world of ideas and of people of a higher social class who she would never otherwise have known. It would have been fascinating to learn what became of Maud in her new milieu, what kind of job she found, and what kind of new life she built with her old one in ruins. In particular, it would have been interesting to see how she dealt with the new opportunities for English women created by World War I. That would have been an empowerment story to get involved in. But the movie just drops Maud with a historical footnote about when women got the vote in the UK and various other countries.
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