“The first trailer for Peterloo, Mike Leigh’s dramatisation of the bloody 1819 ‘Peterloo massacre’ in Manchester that resulted in 15 deaths, has been released on the internet.
The film arrives in the run-up to the 200th anniversary of this foundational event in modern British political history, which was the result of a cavalry detachment charging into a 60,000-strong crowd in Manchester’s St Peter’s Fields to hear speeches demanding parliamentary reform. Although Viscount Sidmouth, home secretary of the Tory government of the time, responded with the repressive Six Acts, demands for reform continued and included the founding of the Manchester Guardian in 1821 as a reformist newspaper.
Peterloo is Leigh’s most ambitious and largest budget film to date, following on from another period film, his biopic of painter William Turner. Something of a passion project for the director, who grew up in Salford, Greater Manchester, Peterloo is backed by Amazon, Film4 and the BFI. Maxine Peake and Rory Kinnear are the best known names in a 100-strong cast, and the film is likely to premiere at Venice after surprisingly failing to make the line-up for Cannes. It is due for release in the UK on 2 November” says Guardian film.