Belfast Telegraph

Streep: Suffragettes sparked surveillance

Meryl Streep has spoken about the cultural significance of her new historical film, Suffragette.

The 65-year-old Academy Award-winning actress stars in Suffragette, a forthcoming movie centred on the women’s rights movement that took place in England in the 1910s, which led to female UK citizens being awarded the right to vote in 1918.

Suffragettes were classified as terrorists by the government at that time and Meryl noted officials were so afraid of the transformation women’s rights activists demanded, surveillance was launched.

“They invented surveillance police work because of the women’s movement — the very first surveillance cameras were invented to spy on women going to these rallies,” Meryl told USA Today. “It’s a great movie and it’s all true.”

Meryl is shocked by how little the Suffragette movement is recounted in mainstream media.

She believes her new film sheds light on an issue dear to women across the world.

“It is stunning because you cannot believe how recent this history was. How many civil-rights stories have you seen? You’ve never seen this movie about women,” Meryl said. “Girls, we’ve been waiting for this.”

Meryl portrays character Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette, a woman who joins the movement due to extreme poverty and harrowing work conditions.

Many A-listers top off the Suffragette cast, including Helena Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan. The picture, which focuses on foot soldiers of the movement who went underground with their activism in response to increasingly brutal policing, will reach theatres in 2015.

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