In a festival first, the BFI London Film Festival will present the UK premiere of Mike Leigh’s (Naked, Mr. Turner) much anticipated Peterloo outside of the capital. HOME will play host to a Q&A screening with Leigh and members of the cast in attendance. The screening from Manchester will be simulcast across the county as audiences are given early opportunity to catch Leigh’s depiction of the Peterloo massacre starring Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell, Philip Jackson, Vincent Franklin, Karl Johnson and Tim McInnerny, ahead of its wide release on Friday 2nd November.
The film promises an epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester turned into one of the bloodiest episodes in British history. The massacre 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. Many protestors were killed and hundreds more injured, sparking a nationwide outcry but also further government suppression.
Brought up in Salford, Leigh is known for his improvisational process and his affinity for working class stories. Speaking about the decision to screen the film in Manchester first, the director says, “It’s always an honour to be included in the glorious London Film Festival, but how inspired and generous of the Festival to screen Peterloo in Manchester, where it all happened!” Echoing Leigh, Jason Wood, Artistic Director of Film at HOME adds, “It is fitting that Manchester audiences will be amongst the first to see this highly anticipated film which focusses on a pivotal event in our city’s and our nation’s political history.”
Tickets will be on sale to HOME Friends from 4th September, HOME Members from 6th September and the general public from 13th September.