Reviews & Screenings

Upcoming screening

On Tuesday 23rd April, 7.00pm at the Quaker Meeting House, 1a Jewel Road, E17 4QU, the Waltham Forest Radical History Group are screening Sylvia Pankhurst: Everything is Possible. The nearest underground station is Walthamstow Central. The film will be introduced by the one of the filmmakers. For more information please call 07973 443030.

Previous screenings

Shown at the MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, May 2012
VoxFem screeened this film at the Box, Derby, March 2012
Shown with guest Mary Davis at the North Devon CPD, November 2011
The doc was shown at  the Battle of Ideas Festival, the Royal College of Art, October 2011
The film screened at the 15th Edinburgh Independent & Radical Book Fair, October 2011
Screened at the University Women’s Club in London,  October 2011
The film was screened at the Renoir cinema in London, October 2011
Over 250 people attended a screening at the SERTUC Film Club, October 2011
The Leeds Salon showed the documentary September 2011
Portobello Film Festival screened the documentary September 2011
Deep Fried Film Festival screened the film August 2011
Screened at the Birmingham Salon in July 2011
The London Feminist Network screened the film in June 2011
The film was selected for screening at the East End Film Festival in May 2011
The Horse Hospital, Bloomsbury, London screened the documentary in April 2011
The cinema at the Museum of London Docklands premiered the film in January 2011

“This film is a towering achievement in many ways. WORLDwrite have brought together a hundred volunteers, trained them up in film production and collaboratively created an impressive and deeply committed piece of independent documentary cinema. The film explores the extraordinary life of the socialist and feminist, Sylvia Pankhurst, in its entirety, rather than taking the simpler option of concentrating on her best-known role in the more militant and uncompromising wing of the women’s suffrage movement. In fact, this is one of its key strengths, for in Pankhurst’s view, the suffrage campaign was inseparable from the much wider concerns of international socialist struggle.”
Review by Dr Steve Poole for the British Universities Film & Video Council
Read the full review here

“There’s no doubting that Sylvia Pankhurst: Everything is Possible is splendidly edifying stuff. An impressive amount of research, evident in the commentary, is spliced with fascinating interviews. But what really lends the piece its force is the extent to which it offers up striking contrasts with the present. Sylvia’s life story transcends its status as biography and becomes something universal, too.”
Tim Black, Spiked Online
Read the full review here – A fitting tribute to the ‘forgotten Suffragette

“No less than 100 volunteers were involved in conducting the interviews and digging out all kinds of rare archive footage, photographs and documents, some from security files, to tell the story of Sylvia Pankhurst and try to explain her politics. In doing so they have not only brought an under-rated heroine to life and a well-deserved fresh attention, but contributed a missing piece to our picture of 20th century history.”
Read the full review here:
SYLVIA PANKHURST: Woman with imagination and vision, but no idle dreamer

“This well-researched documentary crams in a wealth of information in such a short space. It’s about time that this fascinating woman’s life was paid this small but significant tribute.”
Indianna Purcell, The Socialist
Read the full review here – A film review of Sylvia Pankhurst: Everything is Possible

Sylvia Pankhurst – a dangerous cosmopolitan
Ian Abley, Audacity

A thorn in their side
Marianna Cage, generation-online

‘Sylvia Pankhurst: Everything is Possible’ is a critically acclaimed political documentary that tells the largely buried and often glossed over story of a remarkable and courageous woman who lived in an era very different from our own. With politics in the 21st century being so unfashionable, and overly concerned with minding your ethical p’s and q’s and personal behaviour, it feels refreshing to encounter a world where there was so much more to it.
Freedom in a Puritan Age
Read the full review here

“Brilliant film – I’ve read and seen a lot about Sylvia – this ranks way up there! Many thanks for bringing my grandmother to life in this way – focussing on the important, i.e. the issues and not on the trivia!”
Helen Pankhurst

“This documentary lifts the lid on an inspiring individual and fighting times – now all too easily forgotten – for the benefit of a new generation. It is an ideal device for introducing Sociology, Politics, History, Communications and Cultural Studies students to the ideologies and history of British politics and the suffrage movement in the early twentieth century.”
Dr Graham Barnfield, University of East London

“The film was well researched, written and transformed into a feature length film. The presenters articulated well, which was appreciated. Art of speech is the key to the visual dimension. The approach was sensible and factual, not over-dramatised. This is a seriously good teaching tool. Congratulations to all concerned.”
Irene Cockroft, Votes for Women Curator

“This film is fresh, original and very well researched – and convincingly professional. It is the result of a project by the East London-based organisation WORLDwrite, which exists to encourage young people to have a voice through documentary film-making.

“Material has been gleaned from a careful selection of sources and the historical content is carried chronologically by a series of well-directed interviews with experts including Suffrage scholar Mary Davis, the Museum of London’s Beverley Cook, Sylvia Pankhurst’s son Dr Richard Pankhurst and his wife Rita. Historical and political contexts are well explained, and interspersed with newsreel footage and strong images.

“A roundly-constructed and fascinating insight into Sylvia Pankhurst’s life and times, this film is highly recommended viewing.”
Susan Homewood, Editor, Sylviapankhurst.com

“What a thoughtful film about a truly inspiring individual: a lesson in courage.
Professor John Fitzpatrick, Director of the Kent Law Clinic

“Great to see an alternative perspective about Sylvia Pankhurst than what is taught in schools. Inspirational.”
Adelah Bilal, Student

“Worldwrite’s film is a wonderful reminder of Sylvia Pankhurst’s struggle for human liberation. It reveals the power and potency of individual bravery, collective spirit and intellectual curiosity that needs, more than ever, to be remembered and revered. The story of Sylvia Pankhurst is an heroic one and this film proves that her actions need to be considered and debated for historical as well as contemporary reasons. Worldwrite’s film is heartwarming, fascinating and – the biggest compliment of all – makes you think.”
Austin Williams, Director Future Cities Project

Incredibly interesting and informative. This should be on Channel 4 and shown in schools nationally as a part of the curriculum so that all young people grow up with an understanding of the complexities and sheer hard work involved in attempting to give all people equal rights as human beings. Very well produced documentary and my only thought is that the images of plaques and photographed documents could have been on the screen for a few seconds more each time in order to allow people to read them. Still a brilliant film! Thank you.
Zuzana Novak, Marketing Manager

“Fantastic film. I learned so much about somebody who played such an important role in making history. Not just a biopic, either, it really went into the reasons behind history.”
Timandra Harkness, Writer

“A refreshing documentary which not only seeks to educate and inform, but inspire the viewer as well. The film liberates its subject from the turgid pieties of We Should Remember by brashly and intelligently arguing why We Should Care. It’s rare to find a programme that will bring history to life with such urgency while challenging a few of your own preconceptions . A must see for teachers and students alike, and required viewing for a fair few TV producers as well.”
David Bowden, TV columnist

“Sylvia Pankhurst, Everything is Possible is a thoroughly inspiring and captivating documentary that kept my attention throughout. I learnt a huge amount about the times, the woman and why it’s important to stand up and fight for what you believe in.”
Tony Gilland, Director of Debating Matters and Science and Society Director at the Institute of Ideas

“Sylvia Pankhurst, Everything is Possible is a rare breed of film in managing to be as spine tingling as it is educational. At a time when the possibility of changing society for the better seems impossible, the story of Pankhurst is a much needed reminder of why trying to, no matter what the odds look like, is so important.”
Suzy Dean, Writer, Journalist & Radio Five Live Forum Panellist

“Thanks so much for collecting together all this fascinating information about a woman who deserves to be much more well-known. I hope you succeed in getting this film out to a much wider audience. The Q&A afterwards was an added bonus, having three of the women involved in making the film available to answer questions.”
Cathy Larkin, Member of the London Feminist Network

“What an amazing film and a huge accomplishment! This just goes to show that film can and should be used to engage with important and sometimes difficult topics. It reminded me of the films we used to watch in school when the teacher hadn’t done a lesson plan. The point that resonated the most with me was the comparison drawn between political movements today and in Sylvia’s time. The international solidarity that was characteristic of the labour movement in the early 20th century is something that I just can’t imagine being a feature of any movement today. Perhaps our national identities are stronger now, whether we like it or not. Another possibility is that we simply don’t have a political theory that is strong enough to unite groups of people across national boundaries and drive them in one direction. I have not decided whether this is a good or bad state of affairs, whether grand narratives are beneficial in the long run. But I’m so grateful to Worldwrite for making me think hard about it. Keep me thinking please!”
Polly Gannaway, Community worker

Really interesting, very well researched and presented. I had no trouble concentrating for the whole 90 minutes or so because it was so well done.
Hannah Boyd, Member of the Women’s Committee

“Fantastic film, it was really informative and brought all the strands of Sylvia’s life together in a really interesting fashion.
Good luck in bringing the forgotten (and my favourite) Pankhurst back into our minds in a time when we need social movements desperately. Thank you.”
Grace Dolan, advice worker

Just watched your DVD on Sylvia Pankhurst and loved every minute of it – analysis, presentation, presentation of her ideas, variety of people involved in talking about her, archive material. so good to hear different people explaining her ideas and the ideas about class, class consciousness and the question of women so clearly. Have often trekked around where Sylvia was active in the East End and live overlooking Old Ford Rd.
Shelia McGregor, East End resident

“I found the film really inspirational. Sylvia Pankhurst was a great choice, and the film raised so many major issues, while centring on her as an incredible person.”
Penny Sewell, Retired university teacher

“Loved it! So informative and educational, she was/is an inspirational woman who deserves to be remembered and I will definitely show it at my university!”
Jasmine Wyeth, student

“Really excellent and inspiring. Both the content and the filmmakers dedication and enthusiasm – I want to see it again and read The Home Front.”
Sarah Hammond, artist

Inspiring! I had never even heard of Sylvia before this movie – and I now want to know even more.
Liane Hoogland, University of Sheffield

“Excellent research – a very thorough portrait of an iconic figure. Personal angles and new background put together to make an engaging and very real documentary. Entertaining, all contributors interest shared.”
Vanessa Cutts, Journalist

“Please contact me with updates. This is an excellent film on so many counts and deserves to be broadly seen.”
Fiona Jamieson

“Very inspiring. Very positive feeling about how interviews were conducted, gently and equally – but very strong information communicated. Learnt so much about Sylvia and her strength and wide connections.Very important to show widely – will let you know if I have any ideas.”
Marg Behram

“Fascinating film – We’ve all heard of the suffragettes but there is so much more to this amazing woman. This is such an important study of British social history.”
Caroline

“Brilliant. Really interesting and very well made and researched. I get the impression that the film is just the tip of the iceberg and there’s still a whole load more to learn about the film and her life.”
Ed Hammerton, Digital Producer

“It is a brilliant film; very well done to all of you!! It brings back an important question almost lost today, that is being political and wanting to change society. We need more of these reminders!”
Elisabetta Gasparoni, student

“A very well presented expose of a life we can all learn from. A testament to the spirit of humanity and unwavering belief in justice and emancipation.”
Reshmi Parag, worker

“Very interesting and worth seeing. The young film makers are to be congratulated. Sylvia Pankhurst was a remarkable and courageous woman, an inspiration to us all, to the thinking section of the working class in this age of ‘celebrity’ and ego-trippers’. The age we are living in is an age of uncertainty. Capitalism (which Sylvia Pankhurst could not have imagined would still be here – or the founders of the Socialist and Communist Parties), is in serious crisis and doesn’t know a way out. Not only was the film stimulating and deserves a wider audience, although the size of the audience, age groups, composition was encouraging. Maybe Rosa Luxembough could be the feature of another film?”
Frank Simkins, retired

“A very valiant independent production – wonderful subject matter but the film did a lot; graphics, interviews. Clearly educative in bent – perhaps target for screenings should be the museums – focussing on women or in the East End.”
Zenube Reade

“There’s a lot more to this than the history of women. What you’ve got here is the courage of a woman to stick to her convictions. That’s still inspirational to me now. A fascinating and accessible account of an extraordinary woman.”
Maggie and Jonathon Harris, teachers