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Special Presentation


Mike Leigh orchestrates a superb ensemble cast in this rousing tale of working class uprising and its violent suppression in Manchester in 1819.

Showing at cinemas UK wide with live Q&A broadcast - check here for details and tickets

Dir-Scr Mike Leigh
Prod Georgina Lowe
With Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell
UK Distribution Entertainment One

As shell-shocked soldiers return from the battle of Waterloo, they find their hometowns ravaged by a gentry upping food costs and ripping off the working classes. The French have already had their revolution and the disenfranchised men and women of Manchester are stirring with their own desire for reform. Nellie (Maxine Peake) is sceptical. Raising her family on a pittance, she is more concerned with food on the table than attending the increasingly volatile protest meetings. But many have been inspired. A peaceful march and assembly is arranged, where the star speaker will be Henry Hunt (Rory Kinnear), a radical orator famous throughout the land for his stimulating rhetoric. As the day approaches the government grows nervous, while the people grow emboldened. In Peterloo, director Mike Leigh is working at the pinnacle of his powers, gloriously drawing together so many of his preoccupations: class consciousness, family dynamics, hypocrisy, humanism and the foibles of the male ego. Against the backdrop of cinematographer Dick Pope’s beautiful Manchester/Lancashire canvas, the film weaves multiple stories of everyday people into a socialist tapestry and depicts an act of police brutality with huge contemporary relevance. Warm, funny and incendiary, this is a major work of cinema.

Kate Taylor

Additional information

Special Presentation: Peterloo – across the UK

In a first for the BFI London Film Festival, we will be presenting Peterloo at HOME in Manchester for its UK premiere, beaming to cinemas across the UK, followed by a presentation in BFI Southbank. Check back for booking dates and participating venues.

For the UK premiere screening on 17 Oct the BFI are selling tickets for HOME in Manchester. Additional tickets will then be available from HOME from 12:00 on 13 Sept here.

The screening on Fri 19 Oct at BFI Southbank has an audio-description soundtrack for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. Headphones are available on request at the venue.

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