The first official poster for critically acclaimed writer-director Mike Leigh’s new film Peterloo has been released ahead of its November 2 release.
The critically acclaimed writer-director of Secrets and Lies and Another Year is set to bring the tragic true story of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre to vivid life.
The man who gave us brilliant subtle politicised comic-dramas like Life Is Sweet and Meantime turns his attentions once again to a real life historic event after his last outing saw Mr. Turner chart the life of painter J. M. W. Turner.
Marking the 199th anniversary of the event, actress Christine Bottomley presented the artwork in Manchester city centre as part of a collaboration with the Peterloo Memorial Campaign. Aptly, the unveiling took place at the present-day site of the Peterloo Massacre – Manchester Central Convention Complex.
The film will receive its UK premiere in October as part of the 62nd BFI London Film Festival from afar. Indeed, debuting in Manchester makes Peterloo the first BFI London Film Festival premiere to be held outside the capital. A Q&A will follow, simulcast to cinemas around the UK. The director and members of the cast will be attendance.
Portraying the events surrounding the devastating 1819 Peterloo Massacre, the film recreates the true tale of how a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester turned into bloody carnage when government forces stormed into a crowd of 60,000 people. Protesting against poverty and demanding political reform, many protesters lost their lives with hundreds more injured.
Leigh described the story as having “personal resonance” when speaking to Screen International in 2015 when he originally announced it as his next project. “There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre,” Leigh said. “Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford.”
Peterloo arrives in UK cinemas on November 2.