Whose story? Working class women on screen: a discussion at the BFI

I recently co-programmed and led a panel discussion in the BFI’s Reuben Library, in which actor Valerie Edmond, film programmer Tega Okiti, and writer and researcher Thirza Wakefield discussed depictions of working class women and girls on screen, asking: what makes a working class heroine?

We explored questions such as: how have working class women been portrayed on screen in British cinema, from the explosion of the British New Wave in the 1960s to the present? How have these portrayals both reinforced and challenged stereotypes about working class women? What does seeing a diverse range of working class heroines on screen mean to audiences? Part of the BFI’s Working Class Heroes season, the event was packed out, and it was great to hear members of the audience speaking up about what it means to see themselves represented on screen.

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