Undoubtedly, Mike Leigh is a waaaay important director, and Peterloo could well be one of his most important flicks. It’s a testament to the importance of the Cornwall Film Fest that he’ll be attending the screening and stick around for a Q&A.
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Powerhouses of stage and screen
If the story isn’t big enough, Peterloo stars Maxine Peake and Rory Kinnear, two powerhouses of British stage and screen.
But more of the story, because it’s oddly missed out from all that school education the children get nowadays.
Peterloo tells the story of the 1819 Peterloo massacre.
On August 16th, 1819, 100,000 people gather in Manchester to hear Henry Hunt — an anti-poverty and pro-democracy radical reformer — deliver a speech of hope. At the time only 2% of the UK population could vote.
In the enclosed space of St Peter’s Field (the moniker Peterloo coming from the Waterloo campaign, what with the Duke of Wellington having recently joined the Tory Government), soldiers were off to get Henry Hunt. Weapons out they managed to murder 15 people and ingure 400-700.
Peterloo is Mike’s biggest budget film to date at £14m, with a hefty post production. But it’s the humaness within the epic setting which we reckon will be the most affecting.
The Cornwall Film Festival Saturday Night Gala at the Poly on November 10. Get your tickets