Tonight’s movie is hosted by feminist author and scholar Elayne Clift. Here’s her introduction to the film . . .
It took a lot of courage and determination for Alice Paul (1885 – 1977) to lead the campaign for women’s suffrage in America in the second decade of the 20th century. With others, she organized the Women’s Suffrage Procession and the Silent Sentinels, a group of feisty women who protested in front of the Woodrow Wilson White House for six days a week from January 1917 until June 1919, when the 19th Amendment, known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, was finally passed in 1920.
Throughout the two and a half year long vigil many of the women were harassed, jailed, beaten and force-fed by local and US authorities, including the notorious abuse inflicted on them during the November 1917 Night of Terror when a group of 33 Silent Sentinels were tortured in the workhouse prison to which they’d been sent.
The 2004 film, Iron Jawed Angels, starring Hilary Swank, Julia Ormond, Angelica Huston and Frances O’Connor dramatically depicts the fight for women’s voting led by Alice Paul.
What film could be more appropriate to see and contemplate in this dramatic election year when the US could well see its first woman president? Come with Kleenex and leave with a sense of awe — and a determination to vote!