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Thatcher biographical film gains funding and controversy

MargaretThatcher.jpgThe planned biographical film of Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain who is remembered for the high points of her time in office and the low, has just received a rather large sum of money from the UK Film Council, just as the current government shut the Film Council down.

What's incredibly disconcerting is that this move may be more politically motivated rather than the desire to make a good film about the ex-Prime Minister and her major decisions in power, and it could be set to present the ex-Prime Minister in a hugely negative light.

Last month the UK Film Council gave the film one million pounds to get help in its production and it was already well underway. Phyllida Lloyd is directing the film which will see Jim Broadbent play Denis Thatcher and Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher and comes from a script by Abi Morgan that seems to portray Thatcher in a none too positive way.

It does sound great to be honest, and from when we first heard about it back in 2007 it seemed that the film would be looking at the Falklands War, something that was confirmed when we heard about the script from Julian Fellowes.

In 2010 we heard that the film might not be about Falklands War after all and would be a more biographical film about Margaret Thatcher's entire life.

Now that Abi Morgan has written the script the film does seem as though it's going to be about her entire life, but the suggestion from the The Telegraph through The Guardian is that it's going to be a highly critical and negative film of the Prime Minister and contains scenes and themes that Thatcher's family find very upsetting and appalling.

In fact they have a quote from a "family friend" who says:

"They think it sounds like some Left-wing fantasy"

There's a further suggestion that The Iron Lady has become a politically motivated film.

Since Labour lost office, an unusually large amount of public money has been spent on tarnishing Lady Thatcher's reputation.

In September, the National Theatre staged T J Rogers's Blood and Gifts, which included a line about how the former prime minister deserved to be sodomised for the budget cuts that she implemented.

The belief is that this Thatcher film is going to be another biased view of her life and will not present her very favourably, a driving factor why the UK Film Council gave it so much money, to show the Conservative party, part of the Coalition government that is implementing the cuts that will shut down the Film Council, in a bad light.

A rumour about the script says that it is going to present the story from an older version of Margaret Thatcher who is senile and is struggling to remember the fact that her husband is now dead and her story is told through flashbacks.

Not a nice way to be remembered. However that's not the point, if this is to be a politically motivated film and present her in a bad light it's going to do the great things she and her government achieved a huge injustice, one of them being The Falklands War.

The other thing that's now making me wonder if The Iron Lady is going to be any good is the fact that they are going to try and cram so much of her life and career into it, and where the previous script sounded so strong, this now sounds very distilled.

Julian Fellowes script was going to focus on the period of time in the lead up to the Falklands War, when the government was at its lowest popularity and Margaret Thatcher was looking at losing power, yet the Argentinean invasion of British sovereign soil sparked a war and her popularity soared.

To me that period and the war itself sounds the most interesting, but if this film is going to just be used as a beating post for the current government and damn the consequences and how she'll be viewed as a result, then I'm far from interested.



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