Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Spirit Of '45 (2013) DVD Review
The Spirit Of '45
Reviewed by: Robert MunroRead Val Kermode's film review of The Spirit Of '45
In addition to a short Loach-directed documentary - Which Side Are You On? - and an interview with the man himself, this release comes equipped with more than six hours of extended interviews from the wonderful contributors to the film, whose enduring recollections, anecdotes and stories of the Spirit of '45, really are the beating heart of this project.
Which Side Are You On? pools footage of miners discussing the closure and de-nationalisation of the mining industry under Margaret Thatcher's reign as Prime Minister. There are heated exchanges between miners and policeman; debates between miners and their families at conferences; and poetry readings and folk singers lamenting the loss of the industry. This short provides a fitting eulogy to the main film itself, showing the despair at the demise of the socialist post-war reforms.
The short interview with director Loach gives the viewer an appreciation of just how personal the project is and how earnestly he hopes that it may encourage those who see it to think again about a collective spirit of social progression.
The real gem in this release, however, is the extended interviews with contributors to the film. Listening to the participants - doctors, nurses, miners, housebuilders - talk about their lives, and the impact that the socially-progressive programs detailed in the film, had on themselves and their families truly puts into perspective the ideological chasm between the post-war era of collective effort and the world of the individual as we know it today.
This kind of 'social history' - the kind of which Studs Terkel is famed for in the States - in which the participants themselves talk about history in personable and digestible chunks grounds the film's otherwise idealistic moments and provides hours of entertainment and education.Reviewed on: 08 Apr 2013