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Land and Freedom, a film by Ken Loach, Screening and Discussion
Sun 18 December 2016, 18:30 – 21:00 GMT
Celebrating the work of Ken Loach, Rethink Rebuild Society is pleased to invite you to a screening of the film
Land and Freedom (1995)
A Film by Ken Loach
Written by Jim Allen
Runtime: 106 minutes. In Spanish and English with English subtitles.
Where: RR Multi-facility room, Unit 7, Longsight Business Park, Hamilton Road, Manchester, M13 0PD
When: Sunday the 18th of December 2016 at 18:30pm
“Revolutions are contagious.”
"I was full of trepidation because they could see it as very cheeky to come over and take a piece of their history," Ken Loach says about the Spanish people’s response to the film. "But it's not a private tragedy - history belongs to all of us. The only reason to make a historical piece is to say something about the present."
During a street battle scene, David is heard shouting across the lines to a Manchester man. Each asks the other what he's doing on the wrong side.
What insights does Land and Freedom provide about idealism and ideology-driven struggles? What lessons can the Syrian people and the world, learn from past civil wars?
Shot in Liverpool, and bearing great similarities to Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, ‘Land and Freedom’ tells the story of David Carr, a young unemployed communist from Liverpool who, in Spring 1936, leaves his hometown to join the fight against General Franco’s fascism in Spain. The idealism of David is tested to its limit as he sees the various republican groups tear themselves apart rather than focus on their real enemy. David is buried. Was his struggle in vain?
Loach makes us feel that we are alongside Dave, training with the militia, taking part in battles, thrilling to the comradeship of fellow volunteers united in opposition to fascism. Loach's movie is a visceral, emotional and intellectual experience, and among the finest films of the decade. (Philip French, The Observer).
The Spanish revolution could have been won but for Stalinism. Such a victory would have changed the course of the twentieth century… ‘Land and Freedom’ has already provoked great interest and widespread political discussion in Spain and Britain, and it will no doubt do the same wherever it is shown. It merits the widest possible audience. (The World Socialist Website).
Land and Freedom won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival - and was a substantial box-office hit in Spain where it sparked intense debate about its subject matter. This needless to say, was one of the reasons that Loach made the film!
I’m not about to go join a war, but every once in a while, a healthy dose of idealism is really needed – Land and Freedom provides that. (kalafudra's Stuff)
Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it's virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context.
He produced what is now acclaimed as one of the finest films ever made in Britain. Hidden Agenda (1990) won the Special Jury Prize at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival; Riff-Raff (1991) won the Felix award for Best European Film of 1992; and Raining Stones (1993) won the Cannes Special Jury Prize for 1993. Two of his films, The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) and his latest I, Daniel Blake (2016) received the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making him the ninth filmmaker to win the prestigious award twice.
Loach joined "54 international figures in the literary and cultural fields" in signing a letter that stated, in part, "celebrating 'Israel at 60' is tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves to the haunting tune of lingering dispossession and multi-faceted injustice". The letter was published in the International Herald Tribune on 8 May 2008.
Loach turned down an OBE in 1977. In a Radio Times interview, published in March 2001, he said:
"It's all the things I think are despicable: patronage, deferring to the monarchy and the name of the British Empire, which is a monument of exploitation and conquest. I turned down the OBE because it's not a club you want to join when you look at the villains who've got it”
“He’s been a thorn in the establishment’s side since Cathy Come Home and Kes. At 80, he’s made his angriest film yet.” Simon Hattenstone, the Guardian, Commenting on Loach’s I, Daniel Blake.