A dramatic new poster for Mike Leigh’s Peterloo has been released revealing a government guard on horseback amidst a crowd of people peacefully protesting for political reform in northern England. The film is in UK cinemas from November 2.
Peterloo, Mike Leigh’s upcoming historical dramatisation of the Peterloo massacre, brings to vivid life the events surrounding the infamous event of 1819, recreating how a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester turned into a notoriously bloody fight between protesters appealing for political reform and reckless government officials. Many protesters lost their lives with hundreds more injured.
The critically acclaimed writer-director of Secrets and Lies and Another Year, says the Peterloo Massacre is an event that has troubled him for a long time and, given that no film has been made about it, was inspired to bring it to the attention of audiences during a particularly toxic political climate. “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,” he told Screen International in 2015.
The man who gave us such politicised comic-dramas as 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.
A defining moment, the Peterloo Massacre was a precursor and part-inspiration to the founding of liberal newspaper The Guardian. 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.
Peterloo arrives in UK cinemas on November 2.