Monday, July 06, 2009

Iron Jawed Angels Awesome Movie

If you have not seen this movie I highly recommend it for all! Especially for women and girls. While in the residential program at the VA we went on a field trip to the Susan B Anthony House and learned far more than we ever did in history classes. One of the women bought the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" and we watched it later in the week. It is one of the most awesome movies ever relating to our history! Not only does it tell the story but it also captures the audiences attention. We take for granted the battles those that have gone before us fought for our rights. This movie does a good job of portraying the fight our ancestors endured for us. Did you know that a mere 100 years ago it was illegal for women to have custody of their own children? Women were not allowed to learn math or finances because our small brains weren't capable of it so we were sent home from school when it was time for the boys to learn math and finances. Women were not allowed to keep their own hard earned wages. Susan B Anthony battled for these rights and more in addition to women's right to vote and the abolishment of slavery. I am buying "Iron Jawed Angels" next week along with a movie about Susan B Anthony herself. After our field trip we went to visit her grave and the grave of Frederick Douglas. It was an awesome day! If any of you are going to be near Rochester, New York I recommend a visit to the Susan B Anthony house, the tour takes about 2 hours but most of it is sitting. After the tour of the two houses you then go in the carriage house and imagine you are fighting for one (or more) of Susan B Anthony's and Frederick Douglas' causes. Very informative and suitable for the entire family.

Blessings and Namaste,

Iron Jawed Angels:
For Americans, the right to vote is so taken for granted that it's hard to believe it was unavailable to the country's women until 1920, and not until after quite a fight. Chronicling this overlooked but major chapter in the history of U.S. civil rights, Iron Jawed Angels is an accomplished biopic that covers a lot of ground without sacrificing the personal details of its characters. The film is refreshing in the way it relegates male characters to the background and puts its full focus on an array of heroic women. Hilary Swank gives an assured and inspiring performance as Alice Paul, the leader of the National Woman's Party, a radical organization that sought nothing less than full voting rights for women. The fine cast is rounded out by Frances O'Connor's understated Lucy Burns, Molly Parker as a senator's wife who defies her husband to become active in the movement, the ever-luminous Julia Ormond, and Anjelica Huston in a fun, scene-stealing role. Patrick Dempsey serves as what might have been a token "love interest" in a lesser film, but here he symbolizes the choice Alice must make between the cause and her personal life. The film's use of contemporary songs and cinematography is a potentially bold stylistic choice that doesn't always work. The intent is clearly to make past events more relevant to a modern audience, and while this strategy succeeds to a certain extent, it also serves to occasionally distance the viewer from the story. Nonetheless, the film excels at depicting the real sacrifices of the women involved, especially in the harrowing prison scenes, as well as in showing the development of nonviolent protest techniques that were later used successfully in other political movements. Iron Jawed Angels vibrantly brings to life a neglected period of America's civil rights struggle without making it seem like a history lesson.

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