Tuesday, May 24, 2005

vera drake

Vera Drake
If you haven't already seen this film, stop whatever you are doing, go to Blockbuster and rent it now.

We just sat saying "wow" all the way through. It's a film about a woman who does backstreet abortions for "girls in trouble". It's quite amazing - none of her family know what she does and she goes about it in a very matter of fact way, just part of daily life. She doesn't get paid for it, she just does it because she believes people need it and have no-one else to turn to.

The film is strong and extremely moving, and harrowing in places, following what happens as Vera gets found out and her family discover what she's been doing all this time. Whilst you know that what she does is a criminal offence, you can't help but be on her side as an old lady who just did what she believed was right.

On top of all that, Mike Leigh directed the entire film by improvisation. He also kept the actors at the same knowledge levels as their characters - until the police turn up, none of the actors playing Vera's family have any idea that anything is happening.


  1. Sounds like a really cool way to direct!

    *writes film on list for after exams*


  2. People needed it and had no-one else to turn to?

    I suppose people might have seen a need for it because they had no-one to turn to... I would prefer to be someone to turn to... like LIFE are.

  3. Yeah Keir, back then you could only get an abortion if you could afford to pay for a private clinic and many people couldn't. The film illustrates this point fairly clearly.

    And organisations like LIFE, if they existed, were far less widely available.

    I'm not advocating abortion, or what Vera Drake and hundreds of women like her did, just acknowledging that in her mind, she did it because there was great need.



Sometimes I do go on...