As women gain power and equal rights throughout the world, the ethics of feminism have become more widely accepted as a no-brainer. We still have a ways to go, of course, but when queen of the world Beyoncé unequivocally labels herself a feminist, you know the cause has come a long way. But it wasn't always so easy or so popular to fight for women's rights. The prestigious film "Suffragette," which released a new trailer June 3, tells the story of how the feminist movement began, back in the late 1800s in London. The film, which is an early Oscar contender, stars Meryl Streep, Carrie Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw.
The production behind the movie matches its principles: "Suffragette" is both written and directed by women, a rare event even in 2015. Sarah Gavron ("Brick Lane") directed the project and Abi Morgan ("The Iron Lady") wrote the script.
This film will bring serious attention to the early fight for equality, as well as to the ongoing struggle for women's rights that has yet to be completed. "Suffragette" is doing a lot of good already, as are all the people involved. Which got us thinking: How feminist are the stars of "Suffragette"? These ladies have serious credentials. Take a look:
Streep self-identified as a "rabid, man-eating feminist" in a speech honoring Emma Thompson at the 2014 National Board of Review gala. During the same speech, she also criticized the Disney corporation's early unfair hiring practices, which excluded female animators when the company first began releasing films.
"The Guardian" named Mulligan the "face of 21st century British feminism" because of her back-to-back starring roles as women fighting to be treated equally, first in "Far From the Maddening Crowd" and now in "Suffragette."
Mulligan doesn't necessary believe she's earned the title, telling NewsOK, "It's just incredible good luck getting two roles like this, back to back. That other stuff? 'Face of feminism?' No idea. I am genuinely excited at having the chance to be a part of films that put more women on screen in more complex characters than we're typically offered."
Helena Bonham Carter
Bonham Carter has played her fair share of strong female characters: everyone from Bellatrix Lestrange in the "Harry Potter" films to Marla Singer in "Fight Club." So when people in the film industry think she's too weak to handle a part, she speaks out: "I also get fed up with the fact that casting agents and directors have this impression of me as being frail and petite. I find it very patronizing. I'm quite beefy and strong. I was a gymnast in school and I have lots of muscles," she told Cinema.com.
Watch the "Suffragette" trailer:
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