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MADE IN DAGENHAM, 2010
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MADE IN DAGENHAM MOVIEMADE IN DAGENHAM, 2010
Movie Reviews

Directed by Nigel Cole

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Jaime Winstone, Lorraine Stanley, Nicola Duffett, Geraldine James, Daniel Mays, Richard Schiff, Bob Hoskins, and Andrea Riseborough

Review by Matthew Toffolo

SYNOPSIS:

A dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination.

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REVIEW:

Made in Dagenham is one of the best movies of 2010. It has everything that makes a great film in my opinion: Drama. Individual conflict and society conflict happening at the same time. Comedic moments that are genuine and real. A large epic journey by the main character. Is about something important in terms of social awareness without being too bias, hokey or judgmental. And was an excellent script that hit all of the emotional beats of everything I've talked about that was executed to perfection by the cast and crew.

Put it all together and you have yourself a fun, emotional journey story that will leave you thinking in the end.

Made in Dagenham probably won't be one of those films that gets any attention though. And I'm always curious why the US distributors don't put that much money in terms of advertising and exposure for people to vote on at awards season for important films like this. Is the film not sexy enough? And/or is a story about union workers and women's rights not something the distributors would think people would be all that interested in?

I sat in a packed theater for the screening of this film and noticed that I was the youngest person in the room. And at 33, I'm considered to be too old for most advertisers. Frankly the distributors think, and perhaps know, that anyone under 30 is not interested in seeing Made in Dagenham. Especially people in the United States because all those accents on screen might as well be a foreign language to them.

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Of course the irony of all of this is that this needs to be the film that the Generation Ys and YXs see because it's an entertaining film about the progression of women and the all important subject of employee vs employer in terms of rights and fairness in the workplace.

This is a film that shows what women went through only a short time ago. And how this true story set up future rules and rights for 50% of the population in the western world.

Set in 1968, Made in Dagenham is the female social equivalent of Martin Luther King's and Malcolm X's progression of minority rights at that time. All women should see this film to show where they were then, so they can mirror where they are now, and then understand where they need to go in the future. Because if they are really taking a look around their environments, they will realize that men still rule the nest.

To top that story, this is also a film about unions. Unions in about 10-15 years could be a foreign world to the Ys and YXs because if they haven't been paying attention (which they probably aren't), the way the world is heading there will be no such thing. We are entering the new world of the technology age with new companies who will hire people not on salary but on contracts (I am guilty of that with this website), and the old companies will either go out of business slowly but surely, or downsize their companies by laying off all the unions workers and hiring new non-union workers on contract by slipping them in to their companies with the many loopholes in the government laws.

Of course, this will cause the middle-class system to virtually fall apart at the seems. But this could be stopped in the next generation if those people knew what was going to happen. And a little British film like Made in Dagenham could really give them a lot of insight.

But overall, this is a film that has real emotion. We truly care for all of these characters because we know that they are just average people like many of us are. And they step up when need be because they know and believe that it's the right thing to do. And that's a scary thing when you are experiencing these types of conflicts in your own life. The actors and the filmmaking team really showed this too while also keeping the comedic and light tone intact throughout. And if you're ever made a film before or wrote a story with a deep subject, you know that's a very difficult thing to do.

So please, go see this film. You won't be disappointed.

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MADE IN DAGENHAM