Event Information

Made for Channel 4 by the Birmingham Film & Video Workshop in the early 1980s, Property Rites is a fascinating blend of drama and documentary that follows two women as they investigate the death of Mary Ashford, a 19th century woman who was raped and drowned in Erdington - a murder for which the prime suspect, a man named Abraham Thornton, walked free. 

Visiting Mary’s grave in Sutton Coldfield, Property Rites looks at how the two men blamed Mary for her own rape and murder, as well as examining how attitudes towards rape are shaped and maintained by the establishment, including an astonishing analysis of how newspaper articles consistently ensure that men are never blamed for sexual assaulting women. Producer Roger Shannon and director Heather Powell will be in attendance to discuss their work on this powerful piece of television, one that’s become even more relevant in a post #MeToo world.


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MAC’s reopening cinema programme has been generously supported by BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience fund from the National Lottery, through the BFI Film Audience Fund.

Duration includes trailers and adverts. Please note that we do not admit latecomers after the main feature has started and we have a limited food & drink policy. See more information about Relaxed Screenings here. /// Fancy a meal or drinks when visiting us for an event or a trip to the park? Our KILN Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, light bites and a light evening menu, see information here. /// Please read our current Visitor Guidelines before booking your event.

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