A portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester turned into one of the bloodiest and most notorious episodes in British history. Many protestors were killed and hundreds more injured, sparking a nationwide outcry.
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Politicized language gives Peterloo epic stature — it’s a brilliant filmmaker’s version of the Tower of Babel noise in Armando Iannucci’s aggravating, TV-style The Death of Stalin. These characters convey the intellectual and emotional engine behind political movements.
I wish the long-gestating dream had resulted in a better film. I don’t want to read too much into things that I only know second or third hand, but in a sense “Peterloo” shows the pitfalls of the dream project.
Every so often, someone will remark that the time for talk is past, that what is needed now is action. But part of the argument of this brilliant and demanding film is that words are deeds, that language matters.