Sarah Gavron's BFI Film Festival opener Suffragette tells the incredible beginning of the Suffragette movement in East London, following a group of remarkable women (played by the likes of Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter) who sacrificed their lives, families and health in an effort to fight for equal rights for women. It illustrates the eternally valiant who had to split the very fabric of centuries so that today, little more than three generations later, British women can have a better quality of life and autonomy.

Suffragette has history on its side and this should fundamentally make it a portrait of success, however, this is not success without great loss. Whilst the viewer has an established well of empathy for the cause before the first act begins, the brutal humanity that is so often lost when reading a history book is expertly ensnared by the compelling Mulligan. From the domicile complexities of her first arrest, the harrowing imprisonments and force-feeding to the eventual abduction of her child at the hands of her husband (Ben Whishaw), it is a cacophony of tragedies that reminds one of the price paid from the frontline for the good of society.

It is somewhat surprising that the suffragettes are relatively unchartered territory in Hollywood. This leaves writer Abi Morgan with a fitting appendix of freedom to work with. She focuses on the beginning of the 20th Century movement, with the film climaxing at its somewhat most arresting and poignant melodrama. There's a socio-economic commentary wrapped in these lifelines, enabling the audience to digest. Whilst Mulligan, Bonham Carter, and Natalie Press as the pivotal Emily Wilding Davis are contextualised and crystallised by soft blouses, charming hats and iconic medals, issues both peripheral and central feel somewhat apt. Consider the muting of a divided proletariat by the political classes or the political power of the press the suffragettes wrestle with. If it's our issues with Freedom of the Press (or lack thereof) or the politically hushed needy, there are uncomfortable parallels with today. It makes you wonder whether films of this ilk are to become a systematic necessity in a world that is so fast to forget.

Whether it's in the excessively emotional score or the peppering of story-clarification in voiceover, it's clear that this isn't geared at film intellectuals, and neither should it be. This is a matter of substance over style; a subject that needed to be explored and a piece that needed to be made. It omits a crude frequency that a broad scope of the populous can tune into, and to educate and to appeal is a responsibility to those whose stories are told on screen. There's a somewhat sluggish tendency amongst critics to be completely cynical about something that dithers toward the mainstream. But I won't be cynical about Suffragette: its motives and ambitions are too essential, and - with its credits detailing the current campaign for women's right to vote in Saudi Arabia - its wounds too fresh.