Julie Christie: Darling's riches

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I found the interview with Julie Christie very interesting (Interview, Socialist Review, March 2009). Most of my friends in 1965 were, like me, secretaries who had left school at 15 or 16 - but I don't remember any of them thinking the character Christie played in Darling was sexually liberated.

At the start of the film, Darling was clearly in an early and incompatible marriage, and her subsequent relationships were formed to advance her glamorous career. This approach to sex and marriage seemed to us what women were expected to do traditionally, ie provide sex for financial advantage. We did not condemn Darling for her choice as, in fact, we knew only too well how difficult it would be to become a "successful" woman any other way. But I think we would have considered ourselves more liberated. We had not opted for early marriage and we wanted to choose our partners on the basis of mutual friendship or attraction.

One scene in particular from the film Darling has remained in my mind ever since. At a time when abortion was still illegal, Darling had hers in a private clinic. When women like us needed an abortion we had to try and scrape together the money for a "backstreet" abortion and in some cases women died from its effects. This nearly happened to a close friend of mine. Darling showed us how different it was for the rich!

Jackie Mulhallen
King's Lynn