In just a few short weeks, America could elect its first ever female president. This should be a cause for celebration; a golden time in politics and a long-overdue victory for the cause of women’s rights. Instead it’s been marred by a campaign built on scandal, sexism and frankly unprintable language used against women.
What happened to us? How did we sink so low? Perhaps fittingly in a time where one candidate regularly makes wild claims about a sinister cabal rigging elections, Domestic Policy posits the theory that we’re simply the result of a plan set in motion almost a century ago.
Director Alicia MacDonald has gathered together an impressive collection of White British Men You’ve Definitely Seen in Something Before, including “The Ginger Guy From The Alice In Wonderland Films” and “That Bald Bloke Who Played Neil’s Dad On The Inbetweeners.” A few weeks ago we might have said that their bloated gasbaggery was too on the nose; coming up with plans to “divide and conquer” the female population by “creating a proper preoccupation.” In the wake of ‘Pussygate’ it seems almost quaint.
But it’s Lesley Manville, eavesdropping in the background, who steals the show. We’ve seen this sort of character before dozens of times (she has an air of Pauline McLynn’s Mrs Doyle about her) and a lesser director might have had her simply snap in front of the menfolk. But the calm and collected way in which Margaret makes her stand – and comes back for the biscuits – provides the perfect punchline.
Domestic Policy feels depressingly relevant in the current political climate, but it’s ending also offers an optimistic message. After all, as a wise woman once said: “When they go low, we go high.”
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CAST: Lesley Manville, Alex MacQueen, Peter Wright, Leo Bill, Karl Johnson, Nicholas Burns
DIRECTOR: Alicia MacDonald
WRITER: Alicia MacDonald
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Gareth Munden
PRODUCER: Helen Grearson
SYNOPSIS: In 1919, a tea lady eavesdrops on a top secret government meeting called to solve the latest, gravest problem facing the British Empire…