Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Mike Leigh. 2018, 154 mins. DCP. With Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell. Mike Leigh’s latest film is an epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester, England, turned into one of the bloodiest and most notorious episodes in British history. The massacre saw British government forces fatally charge into a crowd of over 60,000 that had gathered to demand political reform after generations of rising poverty. Leigh’s scope is wide, both narratively and visually, telling a story that encompasses both government players and common citizens, domestic and battle scenes, capturing a moment of both emerging resistance and terrifying repression, mass communication and back-room corruption. One of Leigh’s most ambitious works, Peterloo dives deep into the past to tell a story that unmistakably resonates with our present.