Back in the dim and distant past, when I was a teenager, artists’ models were said to be ‘taking up an attitude’ when they posed. It sounded difficult and wearying because they obviously had to hold their position completely still for as long as they could. But the idea of turning your body into a sort of statue intrigued me and I used to try it out sometimes to see how long it would be before my arms started to ache.
Nowadays the description swims into my mind, when I’m flicking channels trying to find some TV that might interest me and unexpectedly find myself watching pretty girls with sinuous bodies and long hair writhing and putting on an act as the sexiest thing you ever saw. It makes me feel sad that lovely girls have to do this sort of thing to make a living. But then so many people are taking up attitudes and putting on an act for all manner of reasons that I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Most of our politicians do it blatantly all the time, child abusers are past masters at it. Actors do it advisedly of course and know exactly what they are doing so for them, it is admirable. But sometimes I yearn to see an honest, open reaction expressed on an honest, open face. Which is why I found the film ‘Suffragettes’ so moving and beautifully handled and daringly expressed.
The politicians we see in the film were oily and dishonest, the police were massively brutal, but the Suffragettes were a revelation, poor, downtrodden, under-paid, exploited, persecuted, made to suffer, but they blazed with magnificent purpose. I came out of the cinema warmed by their fire and full of admiration for them, they were brave, extraordinary women.
If you haven’t already seen this film, do treat yourself to a ticket. The story will live with you for days.