Being the Brontes
- TV Movie
A documentary on the lives of the Bronte family produced to mark the 200th anniversary of Charlotte's birth.A documentary on the lives of the Bronte family produced to mark the 200th anniversary of Charlotte's birth.A documentary on the lives of the Bronte family produced to mark the 200th anniversary of Charlotte's birth.
Each one of the presenters worked with an individual sister: three presenters, three sisters. Through visiting numerous historical sites associated with the Brontes - Haworth, the Yorkshire Moors, Brussels, as well as a school building similar to that where Charlotte worked, the presenter discovered how the Brontes identified themselves with the landscape. The wild moors not only offered a sense of release from a restricted life, but provided an inspiration for their written work.
Each Bronte worked in a different style: while Emily brought elements of the Gothic into WUTHERING HEIGHTS, Charlotte and Anne worked instead on depicting the feelings of their heroines, frequently trapped by the restrictive conventions of early Victorian society. Women had limited opportunities for employment; they could either become governesses or had to stay at home and look after the family. Even when they did go to work, they were frequently silenced by patriarchal families who believed that women should be seen and not heard.
Out of such traumatic experiences there emerged some truly great novels that dramatized the feelings of young women trying to forge their identities in a restrictive world. JANE EYRE and AGNES GREY had memorable characters whose emotions were depicted in raw and often painful detail; this is what renders them such memorable texts.
This program also showed how autobiographical many of the Brontes works actually were. Moving to Brussels to learn French, Charlotte fell in love with her professor, a much older married man; the affair was doomed from the start, but she always had a soft spot in her heart for him. Her novel THE PROFESSOR transmuted her everyday experiences into fictive form.
While BEING THE BRONTES might not have offered especially new insights into the sisters' lives, it had the virtue of inspiring enthusiasm among the three presenters, who in turn communicated their own enthusiasm to the viewers.
- Apr 26, 2016