Mothers of the Revolution tells the story of one of the longest protests in history, when between 1981 and 2000, thousands of women from around the world came together at Greenham Common to take a committed stand against nuclear proliferation.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2021
In 1981, as their children played around the kitchen table, four mothers shared their fears about the prospect of nuclear war. Terrified for their children’s future, they organised a 120-mile march from Cardiff to Berkshire to protest the impending arrival of US nuclear missiles at RAF Greenham Common.
UK media, preoccupied by a royal wedding, failed to take notice. Long before social media could launch global protests with the click of a button, the women’s call for support inadvertently started one of the biggest and longest-running direct-action protests the world has seen.
Some 17,000 people answered their initial call and the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp was established. During its 19 years, they reached thousands; we see their attempts to connect with the Moscow Group for Trust across the Iron Curtain, and show the impact Greenham women had in the Pacific. Their achievements changed the world – and the lives of those involved – with the roots of future global actions, like the Women’s Marches of recent years, birthed in their success.
This extraordinary story shows how traditional ideas about mothering and womanhood were subverted as women faced down hostile Berkshire locals, police, military, media and, ultimately, global superpowers to take their protest worldwide. In this absorbing documentary, narrated by Glenda Jackson and commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Greenham Common Women's March and Peace Camp, acclaimed New Zealand filmmaker Briar March (Allie Eagle and Me NZIFF 2004, There Once Was an Island NZIFF 2010, The Coffin Club NZIFF 2017) uses interviews, historical footage and recreations of events to tell their extraordinary and moving story. — Dionne Christian