Meet Three French Political Pioneers

bloom and his prime ministers

LCP 8:15 p.m.

They are respectively scientists, teachers and activists. In 1936, Léon Blum appointed Irène Joliot-Curie, Suzanne Lacore and Cécile Brunschvicg to the first Popular Front government. In this documentary, Maud Guillaumin traces the history of these first female French ministers, before they had the right to vote or qualify.

Over fifty minutes, their descendants, biographers and historians, alternately using archival images, tell their stories, recounting their courage and reluctance to accept the resolutely avant-garde Leon Bloom’s overtures. Despite objections from his Radical allies, he kept his promise made a year ago.

The first female scientist he recruited was Irène Joliot-Curie, the Nobel laureate in chemistry. After an initial rebuff, the daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie agreed to become undersecretary of state for research on the condition that she resign after three months — which she did. For Suzanne Lacore, a 61-year-old teacher living in the Dordogne, Léon Blum entrusted child protection. Accustomed to left-wing women representing congresses, she accepted the post. Cécile Brunschvicg, proposed by Léon Blum to take charge of national education, rebel bourgeois and radical of the SFIO,we must act».

Thanks to precise contextualization and a balanced structure, Maud Guillaume’s documentary highlights their determination to bring about major social reform and the elimination of inequality on their respective grounds, and the pioneering efforts of these pioneers to secure women’s suffrage in 1944 contribution made. A story is more instructive, as their promise was swept away by World War II and often forgotten.

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