Film Review: A Conversation on Made in Dagenham

by Rosamund Hunter & Kate Wadkins

Based on the true story of the 1968 strike of women working at a Ford plant in Dagenham, England, Made in Dagenham is a story of working women on a mission to receive fair and equal pay.  The film’s protagonist, Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) —a young, married mother of two—is a fictional character meant to represent many characteristics of the real-life sewing machinists.  The machinists successfully took on not only the Ford Company, but the male-dominated labor unions and the state itself. What began as an ambitious attempt to have their work re-classified as “skilled” rather than “unskilled” quickly became a radical move to get equal pay for women.  The repercussions of equal pay had huge implications for Ford: If one plant paid women the same amount as their male counterparts, then all would have to follow.  The real-life strike ultimately culminated in Britain’s Equal Pay Act of 1970.  What follows is a conversation about the film between Kate Wadkins and Rosamund Hunter of the RE/VISIONIST editorial team. Continue reading “Film Review: A Conversation on Made in Dagenham”