Acclaimed and seven-time Oscar nominee Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner 2014, Vera Drake 2004) directs the story of the infamous 1819 massacre at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter's Field in Manchester when 700 working people were injured, and 15 killed.
Written and directed by Leigh, and starring esteemed stage and screen thespian Rory Kinnear (recently seen playing Tanner in Bond outings Skyfall and Spectre) and Maxine Peake (The Theory of Everything, 2014), Peterloo is an epic portrayal of one of the most notorious episodes in British history. The fateful day saw British government forces charge into a crowd of over 60,000 that had gathered to demand political reform and protest against rising levels of poverty. Sparking a nationwide outcry but also further government suppression, Peterloo was a defining moment in British democracy which also played a significant role in the founding of The Guardian newspaper.
Against the backdrop of cinematographer Dick Pope’s striking Manchester/Lancashire canvas, the film weaves multiple stories of everyday people into a socialist tapestry and depicts an act of police brutality with huge contemporary relevance. Rousing and incendiary, this is a major work of cinema.