HOLLYSHORTS 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! The final speech of suffragette Inez Milholland Boissevain is captured in director Jessica Graham and writer Amy Walker’s Into Light. It’s 1916, and women were legally designated as a “Special Category of Non-Voting Citizens,” with only 12 states allowing women to vote.
As Inez (Amy Walker) is preparing to speak at her fiftieth rally in thirty days in Los Angeles, she succumbs to a bout of pernicious anemia. Somehow, her doctor’s (Travis Dixon) prescription of arsenic and strychnine doesn’t seem to help. But the stakes are high, and the prize of a woman’s right to vote seems so lofty that the price of winning, in the end, is worth it. With her sister, Vida (Jessica Martin), by her side, Inez makes her way to the stage to deliver what would be her final speech.
“…preparing to speak at her fiftieth rally in thirty days in Los Angeles, she succumbs to her bout of pernicious anemia.”
The short film is not solely about Inez’s important speech but is also peppered with her interactions with her doctor, who functions under the accepted beliefs stemming from the sexism and misogyny of the early 1900s. The conversation alone about whether Inez, the woman, is physically capable of giving a speech is loaded with micro and macro aggressions.
Filmmakers Graham and Walker’s Into Light highlights the importance of voting by all Americans, especially considering the price paid by those who secured that right, including Inez Milholland. Admittedly, I had never heard of Inez until this very moment. As time passes, the heroines of the past slowly fade away into obscurity and Into Light ensures that the memory of Inez, who gave her life for a cause higher than herself, is never forgotten.
Into Light screened at the 2020 Hollyshorts Film Festival.
"…the stakes are high, and the prize of women’s right to vote seems so lofty..."