Monday, September 20, 2010

Iron Jawed Angels Movie Review....Kind of

As part of local Patriot Week activities, I got to see the movie Iron Jawed Angels at a lovely little tea house in Royal Oak (Goldfish Tea...lovely if you like tea and live in the area, it's worth the visit).

But I digress.

Alice Paul
Iron Jawed Angels is a 2004 HBO movie about Alice Paul and Lucy Burns starring Hillary Swank, Julia Ormand and Angelica Houston to name a few.  This is the story of the real life young women who took up the Suffragette movement after the Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton era.  Alice and Lucy both spent time in London supporting the Suffragette movement over there.  That movement was more vocal and more militant.  Coming back to the U.S., both friends in real life, wanted to bring some of those tactics over here.

One of the most significant activities they created were the "Silent Sentinels".  Picketers who stood outside the White House holding banners demanding the enfranchisement of women with the right to vote.  Ultimately this picketing caused Paul, Burns and many others to be arrested for obstructing traffic.  In defiance, they refused to pay the fines and were sent to Occoquan Workhouse, a prison in Virginia.

Lucy Burns
What these women suffered while in prison was shocking.  Many of these scenes were hard to watch, but I think it's important for all of us to understand what these women sacrificed in order to get the 19th Amendment presented to Congress and then ratified.

It was quite a remarkable film that had a profound affect on me.   Best of all, it has made me think and step outside my world to try to imagine if I could have that kind of courage.  Is there anything that I believe in so completely that I would risk such treatment and harm.?  I honestly don't know the answer to that question, but I hope the answer is yes, when it comes to my children, my family and womankind in general.

I've always been very happy and proud to be born a woman and this movie has made me even prouder and honored to understand a little bit more about the women who proceeded me.  What a great gift they have given us all.

BTW...Grade A


  1. I think when most people don't realize their strengths until the going gets tough.
    What a nice tribute to those women. We surely don't give them enough credit in history books.

  2. I love most historical movies because it brings home in a very personal and real way as only a movie can the suffering and challenges these women were forced to experience. Can you imagine seeing "Silent Sentinels" and the power that would show - let alone being one of the sentinels. Great share!

  3. Hello Lindalou!

    So good to see you. We don't "do" many movies, either at the theatre or renting, but I do believe this one would be worth viewing. My reading is generally based on nonfiction, so my hubby and I would both enjoy this historical rendering.

    The sad thought which just came to mind is that women in many parts of the world have little or no rights. That is especially hard to imagine.

  4. You are a dear, Lindalou, and love your thought provoking posts. We all stand today because of those who have gone before us, proud/strong/courageous. I honor their voice, wondering where we would be if not for these amazing women.

  5. What amazing women. I can't believe the horrible things they suffered in jail. How brave.