Francis Lee explores the same-sex bond in ‘Ammonite’ between 19th century England’s patriarchal class-driven society and poor, outcast Mary

Asha Bajaj
3 min readOct 11, 2020

#Ammonite; #HeterosexualCouple; #19thCenturyEnglnad; #IntimateRelationship

Toronto, Oct 10: During one of the conversations series organized by the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) held at Toronto, Joana Vicente, Executive director and co-head of TIFF discusses ‘Ammonite’ with Francis Lee, director of the film.

Asha Bajaj, Editor & Director of Canadian-Media brings excerpts:

To Francis: How did you come to know about Mary Anning and her real-life that inspired you to write this story?

Kate Winslet(acts as Mary Anning). Image credit: Instagram

Francis: I started reading about Mary’s life after her name appeared several times on the internet while I was looking for a gift for my ex-boyfriend. I became obsessed with her class. gender and landscape. Born in poverty, with no formal education, she rose to be a leading paleontologist making incredible scientific discoveries in 19th century England’s patriarchal and class-driven society. I also discovered Mary’s several passionate, emotional love letters written to her female friends. Being ambitious to explore same-sex relationships between the patriarchal class-driven society and Mary, who had been either totally overlooked by men or used by men for her scientific discoveries, I wanted to uplift her to a respectful status by giving her a deserving relationship with a woman.

To Francis: So also in your previous film ‘God’s Own Country’, and now Ammonite you focus on characters on the fringes of society, who fall in love with someone outside their social standings. What draws you to those stories and to have the class gap or difference there?

God’s Own Country. Image credit: Twitter Handle
Francis Lee with the cast of the film “God’s Own Country” Credit: Twitter handle

Francis: I mean like all the stories I was interested in are very personal to me. Coming from a working-class, and a man from the regions of the United Kingdom, I am myself still trying to figure…

Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women