Film review: The Spirit of '45 (U)
The best part of Ken Loach's documentary on the social revolution born of the 1945 landslide election is the contemporary footage, of Britain in recovery from the ravages of war and making tentative steps towards a dream of equality.
There's a hero, too, in the form of Aneurin Bevan, the Labour minister who spearheaded the establishment of the country's National Health Service – with good reason he's recalled as a "visionary".
Loach interviews some salt-of-the-earth pensioners whose impoverished lives – down Welsh mines, on Liverpool docks – were transformed by this ordinary miracle. Sadly, he won't leave it at that, and turns his fire on what scuppered the good work of nationalisation and the unions: in a word, Thatcher.
His view of societal strife is laughably simplistic: "capitalists" are all top-hatted, flint-hearted hunting types who'd sooner flog their employees than grant them a fair week's wage.
The irony is that Loach's misty-eyed view of socialism wouldn't even be recognised by today's Labour Party. But politics isn't the problem here; it's dull and hectoring cinema.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >