- Aug 2013
I kind of know what you mean.
I really hope this doesn't turn into story about crowds of disabled black Scots/Irish feminist immigrants, cut down by posh English 'redcoats'. I'm exaggerating but it wouldn't surprise me if modern identity politic, and attempts to appeal to the USA market (who know little of and are not sympathetic toward English working class history), are dragged into the story somehow. Look what happened with Titanic. Peterloo was a very northern English affair involving English people, I hope this is clearly conveyed.
I also hope it isn't a Manchester love-in because, while it happened in Manchester, most people who attended the meeting, including the dead and injured, were from other towns and even counties (Cheshire). I hope it makes that clear.
I'm interested in how Edward Baines (junior) might be portrayed. He was the owner of the Leeds Mercury and on the hustings that day. He was pro universal suffrage but at the same time he opposed factory reform. Not a popular figure with the industrial masses, especially in the West Riding. Years later, after thousands of pro factory reform industrial labourers marched on York and then back to Leeds, he was burnt in effigy in Leeds city centre, the effigy was paraded around Leeds on a pole by the crowds.
Anyway looking forward to seeing the film all the same. i believe a release date has been given as early November
I found this computer animated film of events on vimeo. I have read loads about Peterloo over the years but I always got confused about the geography of the area and the sequence of events. The books can only describe the streets and where the multiple events in different streets happened and it was 1819 and even though I know Manchester pretty well, I still found it hard to imagine it at the the time, but this film gives you an excellent idea of what happened and puts you right there in St Peter's Field with the crowds.
Peterloo 1819 on Vimeo