'It was my privilege to be able to attend a private screening of The Iron Lady on behalf of Sophia Network a couple of weeks ago. The film was very different to what I was expecting when I was told it was about the life of Margaret Thatcher. I think I was expecting a biography of her life and this film is far from that.
It deals with issues of endings and in many ways is quite emotional in the way that it is portrayed. Starting with Margaret as a woman who is suffering from dementia it looks back over her life through her eyes now. It shows a young Margaret and the obstacles she faced in achieving her dreams and deals with these and how she overcame them very well in my opinion.
The fact that she was the only woman in the field of politics at the time is something that I have always known, but this became very real to me while watching the film. Seeing Meryl Streep walking around the corridors of power as the only woman was a very powerful image and one that brought home to me just how strange this must have been for Margaret and the men she was working with at the time.
The two people who encouraged, supported and empowered her on her quest to become a member of parliament were her husband and Airey Neave, MP. The contrast between these two men and the other men she worked with was stark in the film. They came across as secure men who had no problem in championing Margaret for the role of MP compared to others in the film who clearly felt threatened by her. Dennis Thatcher played an amazing part in her life and this comes across strongly in the film. I think she would have given up in her quest if it had not been for his challenge, rebuke and encouragement over the years.
The film deals with leadership, overcoming obstacles, achieving dreams, the importance of men and women working together and the journey that she went on. It does not really deal with Margaret’s politics; it is much more personal than that. It shows her reflecting on the things she did well and the mistakes she made.'
Damaris have created some excellent resources that enable people to discuss the film in groups and they are available free of charge from their website: www.damaris.org/theironlady You can send for a free DVD of clips and a discussion guide, or you can download them from the website. They have materials to run a whole evening on the film, and suggest taking a group to see it first.
We'd highly recommend going with a group of women who are leaders to see the film, or taking young women that you are mentoring and developing in leadership. Book an evening now for the weekend of January 6th!