Equal pay happened 40 years ago, in case you didn’t know.

I’ve had a pretty great week of watching women in films in positive roles. Last night I watched MADE IN DAGENHAM, the story of Rita O’Grady, the British woman we can thank for allowing us to (theoretically) be paid the same wages as men. It’s a film that came and went (A BBC production with Sallie Hawkins – two things that don’t exactly bring Americans flocking to the theaters, a huge loss in this case.) In a lot of ways, we’ve seen this story before. A woman inadvertently gets put in a position where she has the opportunity to stand up and say something – and once she realizes she can say it, she realizes she must say it. And keep saying it.

But the performances, costumes and art direction are amazing. Rosamund Pike as the dumb arm ornament of her successful Ford exec husband despite her PhD; the brilliantly dowdy Miranda Richardson as the government minister who hilariously browbeats the two male assistants who are always doubting her authority; Bob Hoskinsas the only man who doesn’t believe women are drooling morons or lucky when their husbands aren’t drunk and smacking ’em around; and, of course, the aforementioned Sallie Hawkins who is tremendous as Rita.

And fantastic tracking shots of everyone bicycling to work at the car production plant. That was when exercise was a routine part of the day before we all got fat.

 

About rivetingpictures

I am a documentary filmmaker living in Chicago. I was the series producer of Y’ALL VERSUS US: HEAD 2 HEAD, an episodic documentary series shot over four months in rural Mississippi. A co-production between Young & Rubicam and Moxie Pictures, it aired nationwide on Fox Sports in 2010. I produced and directed TOWN AND COUNTRY (Milwaukee International Film Festival premiere 2009), co-producer and co-director of ALMOST HOME, which was part of the 2006 ITVS Independent Lens series; producer, director and editor of the documentary ORACLE OF OMAHA and producer/director of a series of web shorts entitled KILL IT AND COOK IT WITH LARRY. I serve on the Board of Directors for IFP Chicago and as committee chair for the IFP Producers Series, dedicated to enriching the professional experiences of Midwestern filmmakers. I have produced and filmed in Tanzania, Haiti, Australia, New Zealand, the former Yugoslavia and throughout America and Western Europe. I was one of 12 international filmmakers accepted in the HotDocs Film Festival’s DocLab in 2009 and is currently in Italy shooting a series of three documentary shorts exploring the artistry and craftsmanship of Venice’s chefs, painters and gondoliers.
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