Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher – one of the most important and divisive figures in recent political memory – died Monday morning at the age of 87. Thatcher is probably best known to modern movie audiences thanks to Meryl Streep’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the controversial PM in 2011’s “The Iron Lady.” But Thatcher’s real cinematic legacy stretches back to when she was still in office.
As Britain’s first female prime minister, as well as one of its longest serving (her Conservative government won an impressive three consecutive terms from 1979 to 1990), Thatcher presided over – and many would say contributed heavily to – a very tumultuous time in British history.
The United Kingdom of the 1980s was a society sharply divided along class lines. Plagued by high unemployment, social strife, and conflict both at home (Northern Ireland) and abroad (the Falkland Islands), many would attribute the U.K.’s many difficulties during this time chiefly to Thatcher’s harsh political and economic policies. It is generally held that these policies helped revitalize the struggling British economy in the long run, but that progress came at a high social and cultural price which can still be felt to this day.
Here are three films that exemplified – or were a reaction to – Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.Read More »from How Margaret Thatcher-era Britain influenced film