Peterloo

Opens Apr 26, 2019

Internationally acclaimed and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mike Leigh portrays one of the bloodiest episodes in British history, the infamous Peterloo Massacre of 1819, where government-backed cavalry charged into a peaceful crowd of 80,000 that gathered in Manchester, England to demand democratic reform.

"Brilliant. Leigh's narrative is touched by the literary spirit of the late 19th century. Peterloo has the sweep of Tolstoy and the bustle of Dickens." (A.O. Scott, New York Times)

"The truism that politics is theater has arguably never sounded more glib than it does today; if there’s any virtue in the thundering obviousness of the remark in 2019, it might simply be that it prompts more nuanced ones. What kinds of performances lead to what kinds of action? What kinds of spectators should citizens be? I said Leigh proffered no facile analogies, but allow me to make one here: I felt chastened by Peterloo’s faith in the power of rhetoric, and left the film jolted by the reminder that if we give up on persuasion, we’ve given up on democracy." (Shonni Enelow, Film Comment)