As I watch--in the way you watch a car accident, because you can't look away--the turmoil over this odd mid-term election cycle, I've been thinking of a film I wish every single voter would see.
Iron-Jawed Angels is a film about the suffragettes of the early twentieth century in America. Hilary Swank stars, but the whole cast is marvelous, and the historical detail is impressive. It's grim at times, exciting at others, and shocking in its historically accurate portrayal of what a long and nasty battle women fought to make their voices heard. It's hardly light entertainment, but in my opinion, it has an essential message: people died in the fight to be enfranchised. Women, blacks, native Americans, have all risked abuse, imprisonment, and violence to win the right to cast their vote in a democratic election.
How can there be people in the twenty-first century who think that choosing not to exercise their hard-won right is a viable option? Staying home from the polls disregards the sacrifices made by those who came before us. This film illustrates the point in a way a few paragraphs can never accomplish. If you haven't seen it, do.