The Claim

I watched this as part of my research for wife selling, as this is based on Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, in which a man sells his wife and child for a gold claim, becomes fantastically wealthy before his women reappear and he has to deal with his past actions.

The scenery is spectacular, snowbound mountains of California, with the miners, the bars and brothels, and the railwaymen who it is hoped will bring more wealth to the town. It is an engrossing story of relationships in a world that is on the brink of massive change, and the effect it has on people.

Though this is a Western of sorts, inasmuch as it’s set during the gold rush of California, the cover of the DVD shows 3 women and 1 man, which is really unusual.  A really unusual, thoughtful film.

The other day I went past my local cinema and every film there was full of men with cars and/or guns. What on earth is happening in mainstream cinema? Where are the women? Back in the bad old days when women had few rights, they were as visible – if not more so – than the men.

Thank goodness for independent cinema.

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