In 1819, the masses are half starved from corn law tariffs, and hungry for change. In St Peter’s Field, over 100,000 men, women and children attend a peaceful pro-democracy rally to protest tax raises and increasing poverty levels. A reformer and orator, Henry Hunt (Rory Kinnear - Spectre) is sent from the capital to come to some kind of resolution with the Manchester protestors. Unfortunately, some excitable cavalry and yeomen, temporarily free from the restraint of a commanding officer, charge into the unarmed crowd, massacring 18, and injuring hundreds more...
Steeped in political discourse and rhetoric, this is a far cry from Leigh’s other films. With a delicate weaving of events that have an eerie resonance to those more contemporary, this is a gripping and often visceral period drama.
Screenings of this film:
|2018/2019 Spring Term – (digital)|