Suffragette film trailer: Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep fight for women's right to 'define their own destinies'

Helena Bonham Carter also stars in the inspirational real-life drama

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The Independent Culture

The dramatic new trailer for upcoming women's rights movie Suffragette has been released, starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep.

Sarah Gavron's drama will be the first ever full-length film to tell the inspirational and heart-breaking story of the early feminist movement's foot soldiers, who risked their jobs, homes, children and lives in the fierce fight for equality.

Mulligan's character Maud is at the centre of Suffragette.  A working wife and loving mother, her world is turned upside down when she secretly joins the suffragette movement and becomes an activist, radicalised by fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst.

"All my life I've been respectful, done what men told me, but I can't 'ave that anymore," Maud says defiiantly in voiceover, before the clip cuts to Pankhurst giving a powerful speech calling on the movement to "defy the government and define their own destinies".

"We do not want to be lawbreakers," Pankhurst declares. "We want to be lawmakers. Never surrender, never give up the fight". Cue lots of smashed windows, cries of "Votes for women!" and the explosive outbreak of anarchy.

Pankhurst became a political icon after forming the Women's Social and Political Union to fight for female liberation in Britain. She led the suffragette movement, vandalising 10 Downing Street and employing militant tactics to encourage change after peaceful protesting proved futile.

Pankhurst, who died in 1928 aged 69, was named one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century by Time in 1999. She was described by the magazine as a woman who "shocked society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back".

The vote was extended to all women aged 21 years and over just weeks after she died.


Gavron has directed Suffragette from Abi Morgan's script. Both women worked with Streep on The Iron Lady in 2011, in which she played another important female – former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Suffragette is the only film in history to shoot at the Houses of Parliament. It opens in cinemas nationwide on 30 October this year and will kick off the BFI London Film Festival on 7 October at Odeon Leicester Square in London.