Mothers of the Revolution 2021

Directed by Briar March

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.

102 minutes DCP
E
documentary film exempt from NZ Classification labelling requirements

Director

Producers

Matthew Metcalfe
,
Leela Menon

Screenplay

Briar March
,
Matthew Metcalfe

Photography

Maria Ines Manchego

Editor

Margot Francis
,
Simon Coldrick
,
John Gilbert
,
Tim Woodhouse

Music

Lachlan Anderson

Sound design

Bruno Barrett-Gariner

Narrator

Glenda Jackson

Aotearoa New Zealand films at NZIFF 2021 are proudly supported by

Resene

In January 1981, US President Ronald Reagan swept into power with a mission to out-develop and out-spend on nuclear technologies against the Soviet Union – the Cold War ideological foe of the West.

That September, in response to the growing East-West tensions, the Welsh group ‘Women for Life on Earth’ walked 120 miles as a living protest against the British Government’s decision to allow US nuclear cruise missiles to be stored at the Royal Air Force base at Greenham Common, 60 miles south west of London.

It was, initially unwittingly, the beginning of a 19-year movement which helped bring about the end of the Cold War, and helped reshape our future.

Forty years later, the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp remains shrouded in myth and allegory. Media reporting reinforced an image of wild protestors chained to fences, ignoring the true story of brave and principled women who stood up to the very real threat to humanity and confronted the growing nuclear madness.

At its heart, Mothers of the Revolution is a Cold War drama-thriller, a tale filled with the tension of a spy novel, with furtive trips behind the Iron Curtain into Soviet Russia, infiltrations of top secret military bases, and messages passed under cover of darkness.

It’s also a story of love – love of family, of children, and of each other – and of bitter conflicts that pitted mother against son, and husband against wife.

Most importantly, it’s a story of enduring morality, sacrifices, and a commitment to a higher cause.

With the nuclear disarmament treaty these women worked so hard to put in place expiring two years ago, we’re closer to midnight on the doomsday clock than we were in 1981.

In a climate where the issues facing humanity can seem insurmountable, in a time when it can feel that we as individuals can't make a difference, the story of the mothers of the revolution is a powerful antidote.

These everyday human beings began with that first step on their march to Greenham Common, and became the heroes of a movement that changed the world.