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    Film and International Relations: The Iron Lady

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    In the movie The Iron Lady, it analyzes the journey Margaret Thatcher. The Iron Lady is a biopic film which goes into the depth of Margaret Thatcher as woman politician who has had a strong influence in the world, in addition to her personal life. (The Iron Lady, 2011) She left her mark as the first woman Prime Minister in England and held that position for more than a decade. This movie shows many fluctuations in politic, economy, and social field in the arrangement of the government and society which happened in that time. (Bos, 2012)

    Margaret Thatcher was the daughter of a local grocer. Thatcher formed an early desire to be a politician from her father, she grew up with her parents being conservative. Her hard work and smarts led her to the University of Oxford. She was very quick to be active in politics, becoming first woman president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. (Biography.com, 2014) After graduating, she worked for four years as a research chemist while reading for the bar in her spare time. In 1951, she married a Denis Thatcher, who supported her political ambition. (Young, 2019)

    Thatcher first ran for Parliament in 1950 but was not successful. In 1959, she entered the House of Commons, winning the “safe” Conservative seat. She rose steadily within the party, serving as a parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, as chief opposition spokesman on education, and as secretary of state for education and science in the Conservative government of Edward Heath. (Young, 2019) In 1974, Margaret was prepared to challenge for party leadership. With the backing of the Conservative right wing, she was elected leader in February 1975. (Biography.com, 2014) She would go on to change Britain forever.

    Thatcher throughout her career broke glass ceilings for women, and overcame stigmas and oppression led by men of the time who believed women should not have their place in politics. She started in college first woman president of the Oxford University Conservative Association and continued that dedication throughout her career. (Young, 2019)

    The Conservatives returned to office in 1970, Thatcher was appointed secretary of state for education and science. Thatcher found her position frustrating because getting Prime Minister Edward Heath to listen to her ideas was nearly impossible. (Biography.com, 2014) Heath did not see the future of women in politics. Thatcher during television appearance in 1973 was quoted as saying, ‘I don’t think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime,’. (Biography.com, 2014) Thatcher soon proved herself wrong.

    One of her staunchest allies was U.S. President Ronald Reagan, a fellow conservative. The two shared similar right-wing, pro-corporate political philosophies. (Biography.com, 2014) President Ronald Reagan was an enthusiastic supporter of Thatcher. They were of like mind often quoted by Thatcher. They shared a rather unusual philosophy and wanted to put their philosophies into practice. (Leger, 2013) Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister coincided with Reagan’s time in the White House. Thatcher was recognized as Reagan’s most prolific correspondent among heads of state. They exchanged hundreds of letters, messages and telephone calls. (Leger, 2013) In addition, Thatcher voiced her support for Ronald Reagan’s air raids on Libya in 1986. U.S. forces were allowed to use British bases to help carry out the attack. (Biography.com, 2014)

    In Thatcher’s second term, she handled several conflicts and crises, but the most astonishing was the assassination attempt against her in 1984, in a plot by the Irish Republic Army. (Young, 2019) She was not harmed and continued with foreign affairs. She met with Mikhail Gorbachev, that same year, she signed an agreement with the Chinese government regarding the future of Hong Kong. (Biography.com, 2014)

    The Films Take Perspective. The film took place at the end of her life through her dementia state of mind where she reflects on her past and decisions made. The film makes her almost feel ordinary. They show her at a time of weakness but for most of her life was a dominating power in politics.

    The film’s character. Meryl Streep’s interpretation of Thatcher throughout distinct stages of her career was a good portrayal of her life. The Iron Lady contains a selection of Thatcher’s greatest moments. Everyone knows about Thatcher public life but not really her personal life that was her foreground. She depicts her greatest moments but also the recession of her power and life.

    The film is centered around the uprising of her becoming the United Kingdom’s first female Prime Minister, but with a twist. They depict her in her elderly and senile years, through flashbacks and conversation with her husband Denis, who is dead due to her dementia. Through her everyday life she is reflecting on her life and political career. Showing her as middle-class daughter of a grocer, obtaining a good degree and how she developed an interest in politics. Showing how she came to her reputation of dealing with difficult issues and showing her more than capable of taking on her male counterparts. As Prime Minister, she takes on the very powerful unions seeing her decrease popularity until her patriotic response to Argentina’s invasion leading her re-election. In the endgame, her rigid approach with her colleagues leads to her downfall and the Conservative party ousts her from the leadership.

    Setting and time period. Although the setting jumps back and forth, there is a gratifying realism to the movie. They keep to the true the time periods turmoil and then ratifying the countries greatness. The movie shows the struggles she faces against her male counterparts and how a countries opinion shifted. In addition, the movie uses footage from the time period to show the reality of the situation to capture the viewers.

    Thatcher’s political career overshadows her brief spell as a lawyer, but while managing her professional and family life at this early stage she became an early example of women who were showing that could have a family and a career. (The Iron Lady, 2011) Thatcher expressed her hopes that more women would combine marriage and a career, she was aware that women themselves were often against the idea but argued that the role of women in the dawn of the new era. A woman had had risen to a position of symbolic power was clearly a source of inspiration for women. She was aware certain factors are essential to be successful. A woman with a family must have trusted and competent help with children and a supportive husband who approves of his wife pursuing another occupation. (First 100 Years, 2016)

    Thatcher changed history by having not only faith in herself but wanted to instill faith to others that women can do what men do and deserve a seat at the table. She stood strong on ideas she thought would best fit the public and never put her career before the decisions she made. She wanted to convey with hard work anything was possible and that women can over throw the oppression they faced. A woman being put in power created a domino effect of women stepping up in all parts of the world. She continues to be a role mole who set a values and a following for women to rise. Her ties to other countries with support from them grew her power and footprint. This film allowed insight to a strong leader’s life to not only depict her political standpoint but to show her personal conflicts that contributed to decisions she made as the Prime Mister. This movie emphasis and creates a humanism to be shown to viewer that could not be seen during her prime.

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    Film and International Relations: The Iron Lady. (2022, Nov 27). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/film-and-international-relations-the-iron-lady/

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