Peterloo

As an American living in the UK, sometimes I feel like I have missed a lot of history lessons. In general, history classes in the US cover all of the important plot points of Medieval Europe (church, paintings, plague, poverty, general darkness, etc), eventually focusing on England with the Magna Carta, Tudors, Shakespeare, culminating in the eventual American Revolution. Then, our history books barely mention England until, you know, we save their butts in World War One and World War Two. There are a lot of problems with our perspective, but that is a post for another day!

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With this in mind, I went to see Peterloo, a film about the British government opening fire and sending the calvary to attack a group of peaceful demonstrators seeking better representation in Parliament on August 16, 1819. Written and directed by Mike Leigh, this was a very thoughtfully organised interpretation of the events leading up to the day. Having never heard of the Peterloo Massacre, or Mike Leigh, I was a bit of a blank slate.

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