Make More Noise! Suffragettes in Silent Film, BFI 2015.

Sunday November 1st at 1.30 p.m.

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This is a compilation of early films about the early C20th British Suffragette Movement. The selected titles are relatively short and are predominately newsreel footage or equivalent. There is the famous action by Emily Davison at the 1913 Derby. There is also coverage of her funeral. This latter film was used behind the closing credits of the feature Suffragettes: though unfortunately in the increasing contemporary habit of re-sizing it into a widescreen frame. Film of an action in Trafalgar Square features Sylvia Pankhurst, inexplicably missing from Suffragette.

The selection carries on into World War I when the Pankhurst’s and the movement split over whether to support the imperialist war or not. Sylvia Pankhurst was among those socialists who opposed the conflict.

There are also some short fictional films, mainly in the comic mode. There are shorts that send up the movement and ridicule it. But there are also several films by Cecil Hepworth which take a less hostile view. Two of these feature a popular female character of the period, Tilly, a tomboy who was constantly getting involved in and surviving scrapes.

This is a fascinating collection, transferred from the original 35mm films to a Digital Presentation. running for just on 75 minutes. The titles are organised chronologically and some of the later ones were quite likely screened at the Hyde Park. There is a musical accompaniment by Lilian Henley. I had the good fortune to hear her at London’s Cinema Museum and I am sure her accompaniment will set off these films really well.

One final oddity, the BBFC have given the overall film a certificate of PG, but there was no reason displayed. Perhaps this is to protect younger male viewers?

The complete list of titles included is:

SCENES FROM SUFFRAGETTE DEMONSTRATION

IN NEWCASTLE

GB 1909 Warwick Trading Co., 35 secs

LONDON. SUFFRAGETTE RIOTS AT WESTMINSTER

GB November 1910 Pathé, 1 min

MASS MEETING OF SUFFRAGETTES

GB 1910 Pathé, 44 secs

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

GB 1899 Bamforth, 1 minute

DID’UMS DIDDLES THE P’LICEMAN

GB 1912 Clarendon Film Company, 7 mins

TILLY’S PARTY

GB 1911 Hepworth, Manufacturing Company

LONDON:

THE SUFFRAGETTE ELECTION

Nov 1912 Pathé, 1 min

BOLTON ELECTION RESULT

GB 23 November 1912 Pathé, 1 min

SCENES OUTSIDE THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

GB 28 January 1913, 35 secs

MILLING THE MILITANTS: A COMIC ABSURDITY

GB 1913 Clarendon, 7 mins

THE SUFFRAGETTE DERBY

GB 4 June 1913 Topical Budget, 5 mins

MISS DAVISON’S FUNERAL

GB 1913 Gaumont, 2 mins

TRAFALGAR SQUARE RIOT

GB 10 August 1913 Pathé, 1 min

SUFFRAGETTES? YARMOUTH PIER AND PAVILION

BURNT DOWN

GB 1914 Eclair Journal, 37secs

PALACE PANDEMONIUM

GB May 1914 Pathé, 1 min

WIFE THE WEAKER VESSEL

GB 1915 Hepworth Manufacturing Company, 8 mins

WOMEN’S MARCH THROUGH

London GB 21 July 1915 Topical Film Company, 1 min

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MUNITIONS WORKER

GB 1917 War Office, 10 mins

SCOTTISH WOMEN’S HOSPITAL(NUWSS)

GB 1917 Production co unknown, 7 mins

WILL THERE BE WOMEN M.P.S TOPICAL BUDGET 324–2

GB 1917 Topical Film Company, 1 min

TILLY AND THE FIRE ENGINES

GB 1911 Hepworth Manufacturing Company, 6 mins

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