As the night drew in, it was raining slightly and so I thought I would have a bit of a rest before I carried on with my latest project. It was towards the end of quite a tiring week and I was dosing on the sofa.
All of a sudden my BB went off and I had a message form a friend asking me if I wanted to attend a pre-screening of the film The Iron Lady! Someone had dropped out at the last minute and would I be free to attend by any chance? This is the stuff of movies, I thought, so even though the film was due to start within the hour, I was up to for it! Luckily I live close enough to central London, round the corner from a tube station to be able to pull it off and I’m so glad I did!
The film was inspiring, dramatic, funny and moving. Everything you want in a good film on a rainy winter’s evening.
It was inspiring because as a woman, watching the life and times of the first female Prime Minister of Britain, was identifying for me and that was due to the story-telling abilities of the director, who is also a woman. Watching her decision-making, her challenges, triumphs and vulnerabilities made me realise that all those stereotypes about female leaders are blatantly false. It also made me realise that, in fact, any stereotype of any kind is a complete fallacy and are to be ignored and debunked at every at every turn.
Her triumph against all odds would make any life extraordinary and the fact that she is a woman just made it all the more endearing. She had all the same insecurities most women worry about, ‘I don’t want to die washing a tea cup,’ she said to her husband when he proposed to her. She wanted her life to make a difference and worked with a focus and integrity that instantly set her apart. May be that was why when one leader of the opposition ridiculed her by saying ‘Methinks the Lady doth screech too much,’ when she was making a serious political argument, she didn’t moan or complain, she just got on with it! Similarly when she was told she had to have ‘serious hair’ she didn’t scream about sexism, she set about getting ‘serious hair’! Now, no one can accuse her of not being authoritative, on the contrary, at the end, she was accused of being a bully!
She wanted to leave a legacy and regardless of her politics or her methods, no one can argue against that! She has all the qualities of a great leader; communication, conviction and integrity that I have previously written about. Her uniqueness is belied by the quality of leadership in Britain today and the fact that another female Prime Mininter is not even on the horizon.
The Iron Lady is more than a story about Britain’s first female Prime Minster, or about her legacy of free market enterprise, taking on the trade unions or privatisation. It’s about a life dedicated to others through public service, a passion for justice that led to extraordinary achievements and the cost of such service.
It’s also an extraordinary work of art of which the director and screen writer can be very proud and which every person must see, because Meryl Streep’s extraordinary performance must be seen to be believed!