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Review thread for SUFFRAGETTE preview screenings: read the reviews! Non attendees: chance to win £100 NOW CLOSED

(96 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 09-Oct-15 12:03:56

Ahead of the UK release of the acclaimed new film Suffragette on Monday 12th October, around 30 lucky MNers were able to see a preview of the film. Read on for their reviews.

If you didn't attend, there's a chance to win a £100 John Lewis voucher by sharing on this thread the woman (or women) in history who have most inspired you, and why you find her/ them inspiring.

‘Every daughter should know this history, every son write it on his own heart’ (Meryl Streep)
‘The Best Film of the Year’ (Elle)
‘The Most Important Film of the Year… A Must-See’ (Stylist)

Here's the film's synopsis:
"With an all-star cast including Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw and Meryl Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst, SUFFRAGETTE tells the remarkable untold true story of the real foot soldiers of the Suffragette movement. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalised 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. A story told by women, about women, that everyone should see…Mothers take your daughters, daughters take your mothers, women take your men!"

Watch the trailer below


The film is on general release in Cinemas from Monday 12th October - find out more and book your seats here: www.suffragettemovie.com #suffragette

Attendees: for a chance to win a £200 John Lewis voucher, please give your film review below:

~ What are your general feelings about the film? What's your headline review? Please give your star rating from 1 to 5 stars where 5 star star star star star is brilliant and 1 star is poor.

~ Who you attended the screening with (friend/ mother/ husband etc)? What did they think of the film?

~ And in terms of the story and themes in the film - what do the Suffragettes mean to you? Who are the women that have most inspired you (suffragette or not)? How different do you think life is for women in the UK now? How far have we come?

Thanks and good luck with the prize draws.

Standard Insight T&Cs apply

Blu Fri 09-Oct-15 18:18:38

Excitement mounts... We are wearing our green and purple ribbons....

BitOutOfPractice Fri 09-Oct-15 20:35:01

One word review: wow!

Longer reviews from me and my daughter to follow. We both feel moved, shocked and inspired

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 09-Oct-15 20:52:24

Diane Fossey, American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist, subject of Gorillas in the Mist. She was fabulous in as much as she just got on with it and did what she wanted to do, not taking any shit from anybody.

Wiifitmama Fri 09-Oct-15 21:52:50

I attended tonight with my mum....

What are your general feelings about the film? What's your headline review? Please give your star rating from 1 to 5 stars where 5 star star star star star is brilliant and 1 star is poor.

I was really blown away by the story - I didn't know much of the history before. Headline would be: a film every woman should see. 5 stars definitely.

~ Who you attended the screening with (friend/ mother/ husband etc)? What did they think of the film?

I attended with my 70 year old Mum. She enjoyed it too but neither of us were able to watch the force feeding scene.

~ And in terms of the story and themes in the film - what do the Suffragettes mean to you? Who are the women that have most inspired you (suffragette or not)? How different do you think life is for women in the UK now? How far have we come?

I grew up in a time where women are equal. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to live in a time where women were treated so differently. We have certainly come a long way. What most shocked me was the list of dates/countries at the end of the film showing when women were given the vote around the world. Most shocking was Switerland not being until the1970's. I don't think I was the only one to gasp at that!

FrancesOldhamKelseyRIP Fri 09-Oct-15 21:59:36

My inspirational woman, as per my name, is the recently deceased Frances Oldham Kelsey, who as a young physician was charged with the decision of whether to give FDA approval to Thalidomide, and refused to give it, despite strong industry pressure, because she believed the evidence of safety to be inadequate. Her strength (and the integrity of her assistants and superiors who backed her up) and determination to do what was right, should be an inspiration to all of us.

cherrytree63 Fri 09-Oct-15 22:59:52

Suffragette for me was the film equivalent of a good book, it drew me in from the start and I soon became unaware of my surroundings. The story flowed seamlessly with no unnecessary padding and ended too soon!
I'm in awe of the women who fought for their dreams and beliefs; my headline review would be "Rebel with a cause".
Definitely a five star film for me!
I attended with my 21 year old daughter who enjoyed it immensely and found it very educational. She has grown up with the things the Suffragettes fought for as her right. My daughter is a strong young woman, who, after being bullied in secondary school, will fiercely defend others, and would probably have been one of the Panks!
My inspirational woman is someone who stepped in to look after me after my mum died when I was 10. She battled with her alcoholism and was dry for many years. She experienced prejudice from many people as she was gay, but had a child through rape. But whatever life threw at her she picked herself up and forged her way forward, never afraid to be honest, until she died of cancer.
Personally I have not experienced prejudice and know that I'm lucky. Women in Britain have come a long way, but sadly I have met many men who still have the attitudes of the men in the film. However, I think that there is some way to go before the entire human race is accepting of equality and diversity.
Thankyou Mumsnet for tonight!

BagelSuffragette Sat 10-Oct-15 00:08:27

I say 5 star and my daughter says 4 star

I would say that everyone should see it, men and women. So little is taught today of that era in history. I knew quite a bit about it, as I love history. I like the opening audio of men (MPs presumably) pronouncing why women shouldn't have the vote. The ending was done very well too, fading into the old footage.

I attended the film with my 15 (nearly 16) year old daughter. She gave it 4 star as she "really liked it" as opposed to "absolutely loved it". (she's hard to please grin)

Great acting, particularly by Carey Mulligan and Anne-Marie Duff. Brendan Gleeson was also great, as was Romola Garai.

It certainly reinforces the fact that we have progressed a lot in just over 100 years, but still have a way to go. It reminds us of a time when women had no rights over marriage, children or money. Property or any dowry was automatically in the power of the husband once a woman married.

I was very inspired by Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first female doctor in the 1860s and also by Violette Szabo, an SOE agent in the Second World War, who died in Ravensbruck. Her story was made into the film "Carve her Name with Pride".

How far have we come? Hmmm, not sure. Huge advances have been made, but we still have women suffering domestic violence, financial abuse, discrimination in the law. The film shows a lovely "sisterhood" which isn't always replicated in real life. It would be fantastic if we could work together in a more positive way. I also think that there is a dearth of role models for young women nowadays.

As Wiifit says, I was shocked by the statistics at the end of the film, particularly Switzerland, but also France and Italy, who were in the 1940s.

Thanks again Mumsnet.

piperchapman44 Sat 10-Oct-15 08:44:31

~ What are your general feelings about the film? What's your headline review? Please give your star rating from 1 to 5 stars where 5 star star star star star is brilliant and 1 star is poor.

I absolutely loved the film. I had expected to enjoy it, because of course it is an inspiring subject, but I thought the film was superb - 5 stars. The acting was incredible, everyone in it was mesmersing.

But it was the directing that I found the most stunning. Somehow the film managed to convey how it feels to be caught up in unexpected events, if you've ever been caught in a bomb scare, or some disturbance, then you'd recognise it in parts of this film.

The director manages to pace the film so beautifully so that these moments when you're right in there with Maud as events are unfolding, contrast wonderfully with the more gently paced , emotive moments, such as those with her son.

It was quite harrowing in parts. I wondered if it should have been given a 15 rating. I'm not sure it would be appropriate for a 12 year old.

And the way the film ended was perfect, just perfect.

And yes I gasped at the dates that France, and particularly Switzerland, gave the votes to women!

I am sure this film is going to win awards.

Thank you Mumsnet

~ Who you attended the screening with (friend/ mother/ husband etc)? What did they think of the film?

I came on my own. I had a lovely evening :-)

~ And in terms of the story and themes in the film - what do the Suffragettes mean to you? Who are the women that have most inspired you (suffragette or not)? How different do you think life is for women in the UK now? How far have we come?

I rang my dd to say goodnight just before I went in and she had learnt that day about Rosa Parks. We had a long chat about her story, and so I went in and was thinking about her directly before the film started.

Different women inspire me depending on what I'm going through. I've identified with Lynda Bellingham on several issues and she was a big inspiration. Same with Angelina Jolie, I thought she was brave and inspirational to go public with having a double mastectomy. It's certainly made it easier for me to talk about it.

But perhaps the most inspirational for me have been the women on Mumsnet's relationship board helped me leave an abusive relationship, I'm not sure I would have managed it without them, many of whom were sharing their own personal stories, so they were a total inspiration and certainly helped me changed the course of my life for the better. It took 18 months of continued postings but I did it and life is so, so much better now. I can't believe that an online forum has had such a massive impact on me, but it has! (thank you mumsnetters!).

Scarydinosaurs Sat 10-Oct-15 09:09:34

5star Moving, illuminating, uplifting and inspiring: compulsory viewing.

I thought they worked through the stories of the women slowly and sensitively, showing the struggle from all sides.

My husband attended with me and was also really moved by the film. We talked about it for hours afterwards, he didn't know any of the history, and found it really educational as well as enjoyable.

The suffragettes are the back bone of feminism- they are what the whole fight for equality has been built upon. It was the beginning and this is not the end. My mother, grandmother, father and grandfather all in their own way have fought for women's rights: from the everyday sexism of keeping names upon marriage, to the life choices of university education and the study of STEM subjects and to the larger political attacks upon women's rights at work. They all taught me I am worth the same as a man, and I deserve the same freedoms. We've come so far, but sadly still receive the same arguments to fight against change. Men and women both need to want equality for women in order for real change to happen.

NotCitrus Sat 10-Oct-15 09:23:05

One of the first inspirational women I learnt about was the artist Rosa Bonheur, who was dissuaded from becoming an artist because she was female, and shocked people by wearing trousers and practical hair.

Also a science teacher who not only proved one could be a respectable teacher while also wearing black leather and riding a motorbike, but also decorated her lab with helpful leaflets and advice columns (eg My boyfriend says if I loved him, I'd have sex with him, but I'm scared. A: No. Anyone who says 'if you loved me you'd...' is talking bollocks and probably doesn't love you.), and also ensured we knew homosexuality was ok with "now Section 28 means I'm not supposed to say this, but bollocks to that..."

I think a lot of people who think feminism is done don't realise how far we have come in a century, or.more recent victories like not being forced to resign on marriage, or the fact that when I left school, rape within marriage was still legal. Marketing at increased disposable income seems to have made some stereotyping worse, but on the plus side there's more recent gains socially - in my parents' generation it was unusual for men to change more than a few nappies - in my generation I only know one man who wouldn't change an equal or greater number of nappies (woman breastfeeds so man does more nappies and laundry, right?) and not only did his mates laugh at him, but 7 years on he has become a house-husband and is making a decent job of it.

Wigeon Sat 10-Oct-15 10:37:55

~ What are your general feelings about the film? What's your headline review? Please give your star rating from 1 to 5 stars where 5 star star star star star is brilliant and 1 star is poor.

Overall, I would give the film 4 star. I thought it was a great trot through most of the key points about the suffragettes. It is one of the only films to pass the Bechdel test with flying colours, which is a test to see if in a work of fiction (especially film), there are at least two female characters, who speak to each other, about something other than a man. Surprisingly few Hollywood films pass this test!

It was also excellent to see that it was written and directed by women, with ALL the main characters being women, and ALL the male characters basically being supporting roles. Fantastic in redressing the balance in most films.

There was a lot of snivelling and sniffing in the screening over the heart-tugging scenes the suffragettes son! I couldn't watch the force-feeding scene. And there were literally gasps at the end when the dates of women's suffrage around the world rolled just before the credits - Switzerland 1977! France 1944! And still not in Saudi Arabia. I also didn't realise that even when women got the vote in 1918, that was limited to women over 30 (30!) with certain property and other criteria. Full female suffrage in the UK was not til 1925 (I think?).

I thought it was a stroke of genius to segue from the last scene into some real film footage of suffragettes. I found that very moving indeed. Am welling up now thinking about it!

Meryl Streep basically had about 5 mins in total on screen, although she did rock those 5 minutes. Carey Mulligan was the real start.

I loved seeing the scenes set in the House of Commons because I worked there when they filmed those scenes! grin. And I knew all the locations <smug>. So that was pretty exciting. Fantastic that the Commons authorities allowed them to film - I think this is the first time ever that a film has been granted permission to film actually in the Houses of Parliament themselves rather than having to recreate it as a set.

~ Who you attended the screening with (friend/ mother/ husband etc)? What did they think of the film?

I took my sister. She really enjoyed it!

~ And in terms of the story and themes in the film - what do the Suffragettes mean to you? Who are the women that have most inspired you (suffragette or not)? How different do you think life is for women in the UK now? How far have we come?

I feel absolutely indebted to the suffragettes for my right to vote. I think of them every time I vote and tell my DD (7) that we are very lucky that we have the right and that we should use it and not take it for granted. I vote in every election I am eligible to vote in because of them.

In terms of how far we have come: I think it's easy for privileged women in the UK to think that the battle is won and feminism isn't relevant any more, but a quick look at most of the boards on here shows that there is still absolutely a need to continue working towards gender equality. On the other hand, I am very grateful that I personally do not feel constrained by my gender and live in a country which allows me to fulfil whatever I consider my potential to me, with a DH who is a feminist too.

In terms of inspiring women - I find women the generation above me who have reached very senior positions in my work sector inspiring. They did it despite all sorts of barriers.

Thank you Mumsnet for the opportunity to see the film. flowers

JessieThom Sat 10-Oct-15 11:00:24

~ What are your general feelings about the film? What's your headline review? Please give your star rating from 1 to 5 stars where 5 star star star star star is brilliant and 1 star is poor.

I thought the film was fantastic - not always easy to watch (I couldn't bear the force-feeding scene) but that's as it should be. I was totally drawn by it and completely forgot my surroundings from the moment I sat down. Headline review would have to be that it's unmissable for everyone, women and men alike, and such an important film. star star star star star

~ Who you attended the screening with (friend/ mother/ husband etc)? What did they think of the film?

I went with a friend and they thought it was brilliant too

~ And in terms of the story and themes in the film - what do the Suffragettes mean to you? Who are the women that have most inspired you (suffragette or not)? How different do you think life is for women in the UK now? How far have we come?

I've always found the Suffragettes inspiring and it was great to see a new portrayal of them, outside of the history books and focussing on individual characters. I studied history at university and we had an annual dinner where we'd all dress up as a character from history - we had a whole group of young women dressed as Suffragettes with banners and sashes! On a personal level I'm probably most inspired by my mum but in terms of popular women the Pankhursts have to be up there!

Times have certainly changed since then, and there's no denying we've come a long way, but I did leave the cinema feeling strongly that there is work yet to be done. I don't think we have reached equality in all spheres - the pay gap and everyday sexism are the most obvious examples to me, but there are many more as well.

Thank you mumsnet - we had a great time!

CopperPan Sat 10-Oct-15 11:41:57

I used to work in science which is still very dominated by men, so I've always been inspired by historical women in science. One of my favourites is Lise Meitner who was a Jewish woman from Austria who worked on radioactive elements with Otto Hahn in 1912. She went to Berlin to take up research and had to face all kinds of discrimination, not only being female but also being Jewish and from Austria as well, and could not even attend labs and lectures. She had to flee Nazi Germany and moved to Sweden, where she worked on calculations for nuclear fission, although she was overlooked for the Nobel Prize for Physics, which was awarded to Otto Hahn.

Blu Sat 10-Oct-15 12:00:38

What are your general feelings about the film? What's your headline review? Please give your star rating from 1 to 5 stars
star starstarstarstar without question. A brilliantly made film by Sarah Gavron and Abi Morgan. The script and direction were really gutsy, visceral and gripping, and very tightly edited. Edge of the seat stuff, and no squeamishness. It can be hard, I think, in historical / political films not to make the characters and human stories cut outs in subservience to the message. But I loved the way Abi Morgan skilfully wove the web of male power in which the women were trapped - by the law, by the mechanisms of state, by employers, through sexual abuse, and by men, even those who loved them. There was a chilling moment where the Police Inspector makes a decision knowing that he could rely on the position of women in the home to get men to do the police's work for them - the poisonous complacency of men in power, making links across public and private spheres.

I am trying not to describe too much about what happens, as the filming is as tight and forceful as a thriller, and gives a sense of the urgency and danger that these women faced.

I am not a weeper, but I had tears in my eyes twice, was crying at the end (a mixture of emotions) and couldn't watch twice. It is hard hitting.

It focusses on the role of working class women, and their absolute vulnerability and what they put at stake, and it does finish with a contemporary perspective - very powerful.

Who you attended the screening with (friend/ mother/ husband etc)? What did they think of the film?
A friend. She said 'let's go and bomb some postboxes' - so we went to the pub. We both agreed that we felt both traumatised and uplifted by the film.

And in terms of the story and themes in the film - what do the Suffragettes mean to you? Who are the women that have most inspired you (suffragette or not)? How different do you think life is for women in the UK now? How far have we come?

I have always seen the Suffragettes as a political movement, this film placed it as a war of sorts and I was far more in awe as it opened my eyes to the involvement of working class women. The movement is often reported, somewhat dismissively, as a posh women's thing. It was a movement sandwiched between world wars in which women demonstrated both their power and their sacrifice, and we have seen this in so many other struggles - the way women help families and communities together in the miners strikes, for example.

We have the legal equality now, but the issue is in hearts and minds - including in women's. Time to stop fights about ever more specialised splinter definitions of feminism and look to claiming our legal freedoms and not put up with shit. And stand together in support of other women the world over - the closing credits tell us that.

I am inspired by women on a daily basis. Currently the women fighting for the young people on their estate in Angell Town, for example.

I am proud that the British Film Industry has great teams like Sarah Gavron and Abi Morgan, and their female producers, making gritty meaningful 'big' films like this.

Thank you Mumsnet - I really appreciated the chance to see this film.

Blu Sat 10-Oct-15 12:08:38

P.S I was also impressed with the complexity of character - the betrayal by loving men, the men who had sympathy and understanding but nevertheless came down on the side of the state, the changing relationship with her politics of Maud.

A really good look at the personal and the political - the archane position of the state, the determination of men to hold on to power, and the rank personal contempt for women in some men. Enough men.

fuzzpig Sat 10-Oct-15 12:10:34

non attendee

I like the story of Grace Darling, the lighthouse-keeper's daughter who helped rescue survivors of the Forfarshire. I like her because she thought only of others and not herself, and didn't just assume that she couldn't do anything like that, because she was a woman.

Blu Sat 10-Oct-15 12:12:47

But it was the directing that I found the most stunning. Somehow the film managed to convey how it feels to be caught up in unexpected events, if you've ever been caught in a bomb scare, or some disturbance, then you'd recognise it in parts of this film.

Yes, this. Gavron is a great director. I hope we see more films from her.

Liney15 Sat 10-Oct-15 13:24:25

Another non attendee (but film looks really good).

I did some modules of women's history at Uni and it is a fascinating area. I looked at the involvement women had in the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts - Josephine Butler who was a social reformer and committed Christian who wanted to help women involved in prostitution. Some of the women involved in the repeal of the acts went on to be involved in the suffrage movement.

MakeTeaNotWar Sat 10-Oct-15 13:32:17

Non-attendee - Constance Georgine Markievicz Irish politician, revolutionary, suffragette and socialist. In December 1918, she was the first woman elected to the British House of Commons, though she did not take her seat She was also one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position (Minister for Labour of the Irish Republic, 1919–1922)

purplepandas Sat 10-Oct-15 13:32:50

Emily bronte (and other Bronte sisters). Inspiring and amazing writers at a time in which women were not viewed as writers.

Sixgeese Sat 10-Oct-15 13:40:07

~ What are your general feelings about the film?
I am really glad I went to see the film, enjoyed would have been the wrong word....it was an unsettling watch rather than an enjoyable watch, but it is a film that everyone, particular women should see.

What's your headline review?
Moving, gripping story, a must see film.

Please give your star rating from 1 to 5 stars where 5 star star star star star is brilliant and 1 star is poor.
A four star review from both me and my friend

~ Who you attended the screening with (friend/ mother/ husband etc)? What did they think of the film?
I went with a friend, and here is what she posted online about it earlier today.

"Yesterday I saw a screening of Suffragette with Sixgeese. There are no laughs in this film. It presents the truth of the brutal treatment of women who just wanted some justice; just wanted an end to the oppression. It's an important record of our history, a celebration of the suffragettes achievement and a memorial to their sufferings and sacrifices"

"And in terms of the story and themes in the film - what do the Suffragettes mean to you? Who are the women that have most inspired you (suffragette or not)? How different do you think life is for women in the UK now? How far have we come?"

I hadn't really thought about how far life for women had changed in just three short generations and how we take the rights we have for granted.

Both my friend and I had tears in our eyes at the scene where Maud's son was adopted and she had no rights to stop it happening.

At the very end of the film there was an audible gasp in the audience when they showed the list of when countries gave women the vote, and seeing that countries like Switzerland had only given women the vote in my generation was shocking.

clopper Sat 10-Oct-15 14:22:21

Non attender
I think Marie Curie ( Maria Sklodowska) an inspiring women from the past. She has contributed major scientific knowledge on which medical science still builds on today and she did this in a very male dominated scientific discipline. She had to leave her country, family and name behind in order to succeed.

FeelingSmurfy Sat 10-Oct-15 14:53:31

Florence nightingale, the lady with the lamp

I remember learning about her in primary school and it really stuck with me what an amazing woman she was

flamingtoaster Sat 10-Oct-15 15:51:09

Non-attender: When I was a child I was given a book of female heroines. The one which really caught my imagination was Grace Darling -I think it was because she was involved in such a dangerous rescue with very basic equipment, and was doing something which women just didn't do then.

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