Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
An epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter's Field in Manchester turned into one of the bloodiest and most notorious episodes in British history. The massacre saw British government forces charge into a crowd of over 60,000 that had gathered to demand political reform and protest against rising levels of poverty. Many protesters were killed and hundreds more injured, sparking a nationwide outcry but also further government suppression. The Peterloo Massacre was a defining moment in British democracy which also played a significant role in the founding of The Guardian newspaper.
Production used the Tarred Yarn Store and the exterior of the Ropery to double as a Cotton Mill in Manchester at the Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent. St Mary's Marshes on the Isle of Grain also appears in a short scene at the beginning of the film, when a lonely figure is seen walking along the marshes. See more »
The young Waterloo veteran who continues to wear his redcoat during the film can be seen in one shot with Corporal stripes whereas the rest of the film his tunic is that of a Private. See more »
It is one thing to be afraid of the dark, but letting light scare you is far worse. This is what happened in 1819 Manchester (and is still happening today). Faith in democracy was shattered when a peaceful gathering of working-class families was brutally broken up by soldiers. With unemployment, poverty and famine rampant in the wake of a costly war, unarmed men, women and children were beaten or slayed for the crime of demanding that their voices be heard. Privileged classes exaggerated dangers and created trouble that provided excuses for cracking down. The horror of a potato hitting the Royal Carriage prompted much of the severe over reaction.
The history is dark but fascinating. It is eerie but enlightening to see the parallels to current events. From the filmmaker, Mike Leigh, who brought us Mr. Turner. Leigh takes a close look at some of the characters caught in the turmoil and it makes for a compelling portrait of the time. I do not mind films being long, but this film was unnecessarily long. Leigh should have hired the editor from The Sisters Brothers. Seen at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
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