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.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Phil Tufnell, Heather Mills and co take to the slopes
Game of Thrones: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' goes viral 35 years later
Our fascination with the Arctic from Greek myths to Sky Atlantic's new drama Fortitude
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures