U.S. film audiences in a tizzy about limited release of “Suffragette” film

“Suffragette” film from UK directed by Sarah Gavron, directed by Abi Morgan, & starring Meryl Streep & others! on Vimeo.

This web site has been covering the making, production, and release of the “Suffragette” film from the UK for all of 2015. We view it as a window on an important part of American history that parallels the English women’s suffrage movement. Both the UK and US have suffrage martyrs (Emily Davison and Inez Milholland). Women from the US and England sent workers and speakers across the Atlantic to participate in each other’s movements. As Americans, we’ve been anticipating this film since 2014. Trailer.


But will we get to see it? Don’t hold your breath. However, there’s a stirring in the United States. It’s unacceptable to tease us for a year with a carrot and then pull the rug out from under the film. The film opened in New York and Los Angeles on October 23, 2015. This weekend there’s another round of releases. We believe the film can now be seen in New York City, the San Francisco area, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Austin, and Seattle. Albany, NY may be next, thanks to Patricia Dolton who got on the horn and shook the social media tree in upstate New York.

If there’s enough of a turnout this weekend, perhaps the principals of the production will give a high sign to a wider release. But this hasn’t been their intention. The word has leaked out that the plan has been to give the film a flash release and then poof. It will disappear. But the cat is out of the bag. “Suffragette” is sending shock waves throughout the UK and those in the US who have seen it in the limited number of theaters and pre-release events.

A few Hollywood reviewers have panned the film, saying that “Suffragette” doesn’t inspire them. But they don’t speak for a growing constituency of people annoyed that the largest nonviolent social revolution in the United States (the women’s suffrage movement) either wasn’t taught to them in history class, or if it was, only marginally with a photo and caption of Susan B. Anthony who spent 50 years of her life organizing for women’s voting rights.


Turning Point Suffragist Memorial and Womenon20s.org are mobilizing their networks to get people into the theaters. Don’t take these efforts lightly. The film is important because the content is relevant for us today. Hollywood films where women move the plot forward are rare. Women have been shut out of Hollywood in pivotal roles, and women-focused stories are few and far between in the entertainment industry.

The “Suffragette” film is about women taking charge of their lives and future. It’s written, directed, and performed by mostly women. It faced a uphill struggle in financing and various aspects of its production.

The film’s potential is tremendous. The HBO production of “Iron Jawed Angels” released in 2004 is still being shown by community organizations throughout the nation who are sponsoring the film’s showings to educate about the right to vote and the long and hard struggle in the United States to win these rights.


And get ready for another surprise: the November 2015 release of “10 Days in a Madhouse” (directed by Timothy Hines and produced by Susan Goforth) about investigative reporter and suffrage activist Nellie Bly. More about that production soon on SuffrageCentennials.com and a special November program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe on November 8, 2015.

Don’t take anything for granted. If you are in any of the “Suffragette” film markets, make plans NOW. Buy tickets. Organize a night out on the town. Buy out a theatre for a performance. And watch for “10 Days in a Madhouse” in November. Trailer. Support these productions because they’re part of a movement to bring women’s history to a larger audience. Next year, 2016, is an election year, and descendants of the anti-suffrage movement of more than 100 years ago have been getting nervous.

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