movie film review | chris tookey

Spirit of '45

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  Spirit of '45 Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
5.86 /10

Directed by: Ken Loach
Written by:

Released: 2013
Origin: UK
Colour: BW/C
Length: 94

It’s beyond our Ken.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Ken Loach (pictured) is an admirable film-maker who’s created some films of rare quality and humanity, such as Kes, Raining Stones and My Name Is Joe. His films have always been weakest – and least popular - when he’s allowed his hard-line political agenda to dominate.

His new, sternly partisan history lesson about the 1945 Labour Government may go down a storm with George Galloway, but it’s unlikely to have anyone else queuing round the block. This is not so much a documentary as a barking mad Marxist fantasy.

It’s often said that history is written by the victorious, but history in the British cinema continues to be misrepresented by those on the long-disgraced extreme Left. Taxpayers’ and Lottery money has been squandered here on a film that allows no alternative view to the doctrine that socialism is brilliant, and nationalisation the only efficient and humane way of organising industry.

Loach uses ultra-conservative film-making methods – such as talking heads and an all-white cast – to blame everything bad that’s happened since 1979 on Margaret Thatcher. Who knew that she was responsible for the decline of the mining and steel industries around the globe?

The comically parochial, dogmatically blinkered Mr Loach is uninterested in why socialism and state-directed enterprises really failed, and often led to the worst kinds of totalitarian repression.

Most of the domestic policies Ken favours were last presented to the British public in Michael Foot’s 1983 General Election manifesto, accurately described by former Labour cabinet minister Gerald Kaufman as “the longest suicide note in history”.

Thirty years after that electoral catastrophe, the one reason to welcome this film is that it reveals more clearly than anything else the backward-looking, scarily obsessive, extreme political agenda of those who subside films in Britain – and, indeed, those who “criticise” them, for I guarantee that this will receive the most respectful reviews of any film this week. This will certainly rank among the most deeply depressing movies of 2013, but not for the reasons that Ken and his acolytes intend.

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