American Experience The Vote, a new four-hour, two-part documentary series that tells the story of the campaign waged by American women for the right to vote, premieres July 6–7 at 9 PM ET on PBS, PBS.org, and the PBS Video App.
Watch the trailer for the series—written, directed, and produced by Emmy winner Michelle Ferrari and executive-produced by Mark Samels and Susan Bellows—above.
Timed to the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, The Vote delves deeply into the animating controversies that divided the nation—gender, race, state's rights, and political power. The film charts American women’s march to the ballot box and illuminates the myriad social, political, and cultural obstacles that stood in their path. Narrated by Kate Burton, the documentary features the voices of Mae Whitman as Alice Paul, Audra McDonald as Ida B. Wells, Laura Linney as Carrie Chapman Catt, and Patricia Clarkson as Harriot Stanton Blatch, some of the unsung warriors of the movement.
“The hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote was a truly transformative cultural and political movement, resulting in the largest expansion of voting rights in American history,” said executive producer Bellows in an earlier statement. “It’s also a story that has usually been reduced to a single page in the history books. The Vote restores this complex story to its rightful place in our history, providing a rich and clear-eyed look at a movement that resonates as much now as ever.”
“The lengths to which women had to go in their pursuit of the ballot will likely come as a surprise to most viewers,” added writer, director, and producer Michelle Ferrari. “How many people are aware that suffragists were the first Americans to picket the White House? That those women were jailed, went on hunger strikes and were force-fed by authorities? And that the techniques of non-violent civil disobedience, which we usually associate with the Civil Rights Movement, were employed first by women fighting for the right to vote?”
(Updated July 6, 2020)