Looking back on 40 years of history, Briar March’s Mothers of the Revolution is the moving true story of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and how it changed the world. It reflects on this significant piece of time, yet something that is rarely mentioned in this current moment.
March strikes a nice balance in this documentary between the interviews conducted with the women who took part in the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and the compilation of found footage, recreated footage and news reports that were edited throughout. It gave the film a great number of visuals to focus on and to help propel the story in a way that was paced well.
As suggested by the title name, Mothers of the Revolution focuses on the role of women during this time and how important each and every one of them was. In particular, this film focuses on a select few women and how they set up the initial protests and it is inspiring to directly hear from them. In particular, the storyline involving Olga Medvedkov and how Russian women were getting involved in the Peace Camp added a layer of humanity to this story, showing how women of both sides wanted to work together when everyone else was ready to go to war.
March does include a couple of the horror stories that came from the nearly 20-year protests that occurred, particularly of the treatment that some of the women received during their time down at Greenham. In particular, one story about the police was shocking to hear about and helps establish the lack of respect these women got in the 80s and 90s. However, Mothers of the Revolution primarily looks at the positives of the situation, showing the strength in the number of women who turned up to help out and how strong they were to continually fight for this cause. To not only hear, but see, the number of people who turned up and who made a trek from the north in Scotland just to take part in this shows how important it was and how it should be looked back upon.
In a quick 102 minutes that will fly by, Briar March has made a strong documentary that blends current perspectives with flashbacks of the past to tell a story that may just be one of the most important in British history. Whilst the film could have gone on longer and given more insight, this is a good starting block to delve further into the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and to give these women a spotlight once again. Make sure to check this one out.
Mothers of the Revolution is available on digital download from October 18th.
Director: Briar March
Stars: Karmen Thomas, Chris Drake, Olga Medvedkov
Runtime: 102 minutes
Country: UK/New Zealand