2016-03-07 16:15:00

Film "Suffragette" looks at struggle for women's vote

(Vatican Radio) The British film Suffragette has opened in Italy just in time for International Women’s Day.

The film is a historical drama which looks at the efforts to give the vote to British women in the early part of the 20th century.  It stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, and Meryl Streep.

“I think it is reminder of how a hundred years ago, these women… how hard they fought to get the vote, and how recently that vote was won across the world, and how important it is to use the vote,” said Sarah Gavron, the director of the film.

“I hope  it also sparks debate about society today, where in some places women have many rights, and in some places they have very few rights,” she told Vatican Radio.

Listen to the interview by Vatican Radio’s Fr. Luca Pellegrini with Sarah Gavron:

Suffragette mixes historical and fictional characters to give viewers in the 21st century an idea of what members of the  women's suffrage movement endured in order to get the right to vote.

“I wasn’t taught about them at school…I didn’t know that women had gone to prison, I didn’t know that they had hunger-striked, I didn’t know that they had been force-fed, I didn’t know they faced such great brutality at the hands of the police,” – Gavron said –  “It was all surprising, shocking, and showed the length which they were prepared to go to.”

Although the film was released on 12 October 2015 in Britain, the Italian release on International Women’s Day is hoped to draw attention to the film.

“I think March 8 is a great opportunity to have some media attention on women’s rights [and] for young people to reconnect with their own histories,” Gavron said.

“What I hope is that people feel encouraged to do small and big acts, so if they see inequality around them, they are encouraged to speak out, whether that means setting up a society or just getting a group together,”  she continued. “However you do it, I think it is useful to campaign in small and big ways.”

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