Make More Noise! Sufragettes in Silence

Make More Noise! Suffragettes in Silent Film + Live Score

classified PG

Please note: This event took place in Oct 2015

80 mins, 1907, UK

"You have to make more noise than anybody else, you have to make yourself more obtrusive than anybody else, you have to fill all the papers more than anybody else. In fact you have to be there all the time and see that they do not snow you under." Emmeline Pankhurst, November 1913

The key tactic of the suffragettes’ campaign was to ‘make more noise’. That meant standing up at public meetings, in music halls and theatres, scrawling ‘votes for women’ over census papers, demonstrating on the streets and disrupting elections. It also applied to film - cinema was born just as the campaign was gathering momentum - and over the following years the suffragettes made it their business to get in front of the cameras!

This fascinating compilation of 21 short films - with a specially commissioned accompaniment by Lillian Henley, who will perform live - combines contemporary newsreels with anarchic early comedies that reveal as much about young women's aspirations as does the reportage. Some offer grotesque parodies of female militants (often played by men in drag), but others feature unruly girl children, like the Tilly girls, who wreak havoc and still have the last laugh.