On iPlayer at the moment is the 2010 film based on the events of 1968 in Dagenham, in the factory of the Ford motor company – namely the first example of female workers striking and the first attempts at getting equal pay. Starring Sally Hawkins as Rita O’Grady, the unlikely leader of a feminist revolution which changed things for working women everywhere, the film is funny, sweet, empowering and maddening, all wrapped up in one 1960’s hairdo.
For anyone who feels like they live in a man’s world, this film stirs up the revolutionary spirit, and for anyone sick of seeing the working class bend to the big companies rule, this film will get you grinning. It’s a story of doing the right thing, and finding bravery from within even when it seems the world might be against you. It boasts a stellar cast, from Miranda Richardson to Daniel Mays, even featuring Sherlock’s Rupert Graves and the late Roger Lloyd Pack. All of the performances are stirring and the script is razor sharp.
At times, even in 2014, it’s hard to believe that equality is ever possible. But if any film will get you hoping and believing again, I think it might just be this one.
It’s also being adapted into a musical scored by the fabulous David Arnold (who also did the music for the film), and is set to hit the stage with Gemma Arteton in the lead.