Peterloo (2018)

Jul 2017
29
London
#1
I stumbled upon this article today which instantly caught my attention (link at bottom of this post). Mike Leigh, darling of leftist British film circles and the director responsible for Vera Drake is making a film about the Peterloo massacre of 1819.

The ingredients are there for something truly awful or equally fantastic. Let me explain....

Interestingly (maybe only for me actually), the last job interview i attended involved a 60 minute lesson to a group of year 9 students about whether or not Peterloo should actually be labelled a 'massacre'. They gave me two days notice and admittedly I knew next to nothing about the topic (cue a late night research session). I don't think it went very well and probably wasn't helped by the fact they showed up with their geography books as it was meant to be a (shock, horror!) geography lesson. Although I did get the job ;).

My point is that the event has everything to tell a good story; protest, soldiers, death, controversy and an eery relevance to today. But it's all about how that story is told.

That class of 30 13 year olds were mostly bored by the end of that hour because I couldn't relay the content in an interesting and engaging way. Let's hope people aren't leaving cinemas next spring feeling the same way about Leigh's film portrayal.

What do you guys think (if anything)? Will you be watching it?

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jul/29/mike-leigh-home-counties-film-peterloo-massacre
 
Aug 2015
2,259
uk
#2
There was a very interesting drama documentary on this on Channel 4 fifteen years ago (there's a clip on Youtube). Don't know if it's available anywhere else. I'm guessing that that will be more historically accurate than a movie.
 
Jul 2017
29
London
#3
There was a very interesting drama documentary on this on Channel 4 fifteen years ago (there's a clip on Youtube). Don't know if it's available anywhere else. I'm guessing that that will be more historically accurate than a movie.
That's what the discussion about the Dunkirk film seems to be revolving around. I agree it's important. I imagine a lot of directors have struggled to strike the balance between entertainment and historical accuracy. Thanks for the heads up about the documentary, no idea it existed, will check it out!
 
Sep 2012
1,589
London, centre of my world
#4
Mike Leigh does choose subjects for his films that are very socially aware. I'm surprised something like that wasn't picked up by Ken Loach or Jimmy McGovern.

I think there's a good story in the Peterloo Massacre; it's basically the broad subject of the struggle for human rights, something Hollywood has dealt with in films like Selma and Cry Freedom; the advantage it may have is that it's a subject pretty much unknown outside the UK.
 

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