Sequoia 1 Thu, Oct 11, 2018 8:45 PM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Running Time:154 min.
Director:Mike Leigh
Producer:Georgina Lowe
Screenwriter:Mike Leigh
Cinematographer:Dick Pope
Editor:Jon Gregory
Cast:Rory Kinnear
Maxine Peake
Pearce Quigley
David Moorst
Rachel Finnegan
Print Source:Amazon Studios
Note Writer:Pam Grady


Writer-director Mike Leigh (MVFF Tributee 2004) delivers a masterful epic with this sweeping panoramic journey through a little-known moment of England’s inglorious past that melds the stunning visual artistry of Mr. Turner (MVFF 2014) with the gritty realism of his earlier, committed social dramas like Secrets & Lies (MVFF 1996). Food shortages, diminishing wages, and chronic unemployment dog 19th century Manchester, England, despite its importance as a hub of the Industrial Age. In frustration, thousands of men, women, and children gather at the city’s St. Peter’s Field on August 16, 1819 to hear orator Henry Hunt (Rory Kinnear) demand reforms—only to be met by violent force. Leigh gracefully juggles multiple viewpoints: those of the powerful in London and Manchester, everyday Mancunian families struggling to survive, newspapermen trying to sway opinion, and the activists and radicals demanding change. Dick Pope’s expressive cinematography, Gary Yershon’s haunting score, and a brilliant cast of character actors bring history to vivid life.

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Additional Information

Mike Leigh was born in Hertfordshire and raised in Salford, Greater Manchester. He won the Cannes Best Director award for Naked, the Palme d’Or for Secrets & Lies, and has received seven Academy Award® nominations. His other features include Bleak Moments, High Hopes, Life Is Sweet, Topsy-Turvy, All or Nothing, Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky, Another Year, Mr. Turner, and Peterloo.