This posting is more appropriately called “Marguerite’s Fumings.” For those of you who have been following Suffrage Wagon News Channel during 2015, you’re well aware of the preview coverage I’ve given to the “Suffragette” film from the UK.
Sure, there are aspects of the film I would have done differently. But I’m not focusing on me as a back-seat driver. I’m referring to the broader significance of this production and why so many people have been waiting for the opportunity to move this important part of history out of the closet.
The long and short of it is that the “Suffragette” film didn’t open in the city where I live, even though there’s a large and sophisticated movie-going population. It’s a diverse city with people for whom this film has been anticipated since the start of 2015. The previews played in a local movie chain here. But then we were only treated to choices of action films and standard Hollywood fare after “Suffragette” opened on October 23rd in other “selected” parts of the United States.
AN OUTRAGEOUS DEVELOPMENT
The “Suffragette” film was written, directed, and produced by women; the primary performers are women. It’s a period film illustrating the long and difficult struggle to win women’s voting rights in England. Considerable pre-publicity makes the connection between women’s rights struggles of today (pay gaps, under representation on boards, and in elected positions, etc.) and the past.
Many of us have been following how this all-woman production team has gone up against the film industry. The only course open to concerned people is to vote with our tickets that may translate into box office receipts. But that won’t happen if the film has been wiped off the map where we live. If the opening box office receipts don’t provide the anticipated profits, the movie will be pulled from theaters. And the movement to break through the sandbags Hollywood has stacked against women performers, directors, and support personnel will be undermined again.
WATCH THE TRAILER AND SEE “SUFFRAGETTE” IF YOU CAN
Jane Barker of Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is pulling out all stops in terms of getting the word out to her networks. Watch the trailer: http://www.focusfeatures.com/suffragette Pass on the word that the distribution in the U.S. is already limited. Jane has been circulating the list of theaters in the Washington, DC area, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Franciso and Phoenix where people can actually buy tickets to see “Suffragette.”
Meanwhile, I’m fuming. Recently I spoke before a local group urging people to see “Suffragette.” I sent out an appeal last week to my email network making the connection between the “Suffragette” film and our own suffrage history here in the United States. My expectations were raised by the previews in a local movie theater. But Hollywood and its distributers didn’t deliver. I can only assume it’s business as usual. Vote with your theater tickets in places where the “Suffragette” film will be shown. And get behind those organizations and constituencies that support the idea that history belongs to the people, not just those salivating over profits!
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