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A Documentary: Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema

Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema. Director: Kay Sloan. Kay Sloan, 2003.

Era: Post-Suffrage Era | Media: Documentary Film

Early filmmakers—both those in favor of women’s suffrage and those who opposed it—used the new medium to create commentaries on the issue, and to create widely seen portrayals of the women involved in the struggle. This 35-minute documentary contains footage from many suffrage-era silent films, including A Lively Affair (1912); A Busy Day (1914), originally titled, The Militant Suffragette, in which Charlie Chaplin portrays a woman suffragist; and the pro-suffrage film, What 80 Million Women Want (1913). The documentary examines issues related to the struggle for gender equity and the portrayal of suffragettes in the early days of the silver screen.

The video below is a preview of Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema. You can order the full film here.


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