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Made in Dagenham

1968. It’s a man’s world. But not for long.  

Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Nigel Cole 
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Rosamund Pike  
An image from Made in Dagenham

From the director of Calendar Girls comes this down to earth British comedy with a talented female cast, boasting Happy Go Lucky star Sally Hawkins, Rosamund Pike, Miranda Richardson and many more. Offering something for everyone, not just the ladies, Made in Dagenham is an honest and humorous take on a monumental leap forward in the fight for equal pay.

Based on true events, the film follows the Dagenham Ford machinists’ strike of 1968. Working lengthy hours in abysmal conditions, the women workers are pushed to breaking point upon hearing the news that they are to be reclassified as “unskilled”. Their decision strike brings the plant to a standstill, leaving the misogynistic bosses in turmoil whilst newly empowered women everywhere join the picket line. The initially timid Rita (Hawkins) leads the protest, proving to be an inspiration to ordinary women with her growing strength and perseverance. Thanks to her straight talking, Rita stuns the predominantly male realm of politics and radically defies the mould of the stereotypical 1960’s housewife.

Sally Hawkins delivers a sincere performance as Rita, an amalgamation of different real-life Ford machinists. Her palpable vulnerability and defiant nature provoke both anger and joy from the audience as we watch her being repeatedly undermined by chauvinistic bigwigs. Nonetheless, Hoskins offers some male redemption through the character of Albert, the machinists’ supportive boss and ally.

Made in Dagenham presents a nostalgic look back at a revolutionary time in history that is inspirational and funny in equal measure. Set against the exciting backdrop of sixties Britain, the film’s period piece status is upheld by its spot on fashions, fitting soundtrack and real life news footage.

Claire York

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Screenings of this film:

2010/2011 Spring Term (35mm)