James Bond star Daniel Craig appears in drag for a special video produced for a partnership of leading charities brought together by Annie Lennox.

The two-minute short, specially commissioned for International Women’s Day, sees the 007 star undergo a dramatic makeover as he puts himself, quite literally, in a woman’s shoes.

Directed by acclaimed ‘Nowhere Boy’ director/conceptual artist Sam Taylor-Wood, scripted by Jane Goldman (‘Kick Ass’) and featuring the voice of Dame Judi Dench reprising her role as ‘M’, the film will be screened in cinemas and streamed online in a bid to highlight the levels of inequality that persist between men and women in the UK and worldwide. It is the first film featuring Bond to be directed by a woman.

In the film ‘M’ interrogates Bond with a series of searching questions on gender issues, from pay inequality to domestic violence. ‘M’ asks: “For someone with such a fondness for women, I wonder if you’ve ever considered what it means to be one?” Bond then appears in a blonde wig, a dress and women’s shoes, in a sequence that is both highly emotional and deeply disturbing. As he/she stands silent, Dench continues to read a list of brutal statistics relating to the role of women and their treatment in our society.

Sam Taylor-Wood said: “Bond is challenged by ‘M’ to think about gender inequality, and I hope that the film encourages viewers to do the same. Despite great advances in women’s rights, statistics show that when it comes to the balance of power between the sexes, equality is far from being a global reality. As ‘M’ reminds Bond, facing up to gender issues and the sometimes covert nature of sexism in the 21st century is something that we all have to recognise, confront and challenge.”

The film was commissioned by EQUALS, a coalition of charities and organisations brought together by Annie Lennox to step up the call for equality between men and women. Produced by Barbara Broccoli, the woman behind box-office hits ‘Casino Royale’, ‘Quantum of Solace’ and the forthcoming ‘Bond 23’, and shot by Oscar- nominated cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, the film will be released at midday on Monday 7 March to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day the following day.

EQUALS spokeswoman Esme Peach said: “We are thrilled that Sam Taylor-Wood, Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench and such a prestigious production team agreed to create this powerful short film for EQUALS. We feel it is crucial to involve men in the movement for women’s rights and EQUALS is about men and women working together for positive change. So who better to convey that message than the partnership of Bond and ‘M’, two iconic British characters with global appeal and influence – and who better to conceive and direct the film than Sam Taylor-Wood, an artist and film-maker whose work is questioning, often provocative and deeply moving?”

The EQUALS coalition is evolving every day and includes ActionAid, Amnesty International, CARE UK, the Fawcett Society, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, The White Ribbon Alliance, Women’s Aid, Women for Women International, 1Goal, Bond, Dance4Life, Every Mother Counts, The GREAT Initiative, The Elders and many more.

The film can be viewed here.

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