The Freedom Machine

The Hippodrome is proud to present a special event celebrating the bicycle and its role in liberating women.

The bicycle “has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world”!  So said Susan B Anthony – the 19th century American social reformer and women's rights activist who played a pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement.  The Freedom Machine – a new film edited by Scottish film curator Jo Reid – interrogates what freedom looks like for women cyclists over the last 100 years.  From opening a shiny new bike on Christmas morning to the grind of a daily commute, bicycles hold a multitude of meanings and opportunities for women across the world.  Using archival footage from across the UK’s film archives,  this entertaining compilation shows the ways women have used the bicycle to find freedom and independence on the road, the race-track and beyond.

Accompanying the archival footage is a soundtrack by Glasgow-based sound designer and composer Cat Hawthorn, who brought a bike into the recording studio to capture the percussive sounds that permeate The Freedom Machine’s soundscape.

This event will feature an in-person introduction and post-screening Q&A with the director/editor Jo Reid and is presented in partnership with Spokes (campaigning for better cycling provision in Edinburgh and the Lothians) and Infrasisters (campaigning for a night-time cycling infrastructure that’s safe for women and girls).

Spokes and Infrasisters will host an information stall selling specially priced West Lothian cycle maps, which contain parts of Falkirk District including Bo'ness and Whitecross, at £4 each (over 40% off), and Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian cycle maps at £5 each (over 25% off).

The Freedom Machine is Produced by Glasgow Film Festival and supported by Glasgow Life 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships and Film Hub Scotland.


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