The Spirit of ’45: dreams of building a better tomorrow

8 thoughts on “The Spirit of ’45: dreams of building a better tomorrow”

  1. Well, Gerry, our reviews published simultaneously.

    And I did feel quite delated last night after watching the film, by the comfy nostalgia of it all. But it nagged at me all day today, and like you I went and read the ’45 manifesto. which at least reminded me that we need thoughts and discussions of the quality that produced that if we are to move our society into a fairer place.

  2. I heard an interview with Loach on Night Waves the other day. It will not be shown here in Germany (why should it?) so I´m resigned to waiting for the DVD – but now, after your comments with reservations. I remember the trench warfare of the 70s and 80s and tend to follow a “plague on both your houses” tack. But I do have a nostalgia for the idea of the welfare state and an anger that even those basic rights have been trashed by the neo liberal sod you world wide party.
    Interesting post thanks!

  3. Gerry, that was the most thoughtful review I’ve read to date. I had intended to watch the film and subsequent discussion last Sunday at Stratford, but the cinema was, so the sign said, ‘sold out’ – nice line I thought. We ended up going shopping in Westfield. It is a place that gives a different perspective on the changes over our lifetime. In 1945 that area would have been devastated by saturation bombing. In the 1970s it was the site of the battle by dockers against containerisation. Now it is the epitomy of consumerism and near by is the Olympic Park, the best example we have of public spending to good effect and a place that lasat summere saw that remarkable thing, a spirit of solidarity in an age of diversity. Enough to ponder on without watching the film, I reckon. Certainly no chance of Ken selling out!

    1. Thanks, Mike. I’m just finishing a review of Chavs by Owen Jones that provokes similar thoughts about the changing nature of class and work. Go and see the film though -don’t rely on my review – it is worth seeing, even if , in my opinion, it has flaws. Good to hear from you.

  4. A great review, Gerry. I agree with Mike – the most thoughtful and well-balanced review I’ve read. I wrote my own words, and strongly believe something has to change in our society. Even if Labour get back in in 2015 it’ll still be the same consumerist society with a passion for need and greed. Time for a radical change I think. Just about to read Chavs too…

    1. Thanks, Tony (and others who have responded here). Readers may be interested to read your own post, informed by being present at one of the Q&A sessions with Ken Loach. The most striking aspect of your report is that Ken Loach is calling for a new party of the left. Much as I’m frustrated by Labour, which still hasn’t recovered from being hijacked by Blair and his co-conspirators, I can’t see a new party of the left being more than just another splinter group.

  5. I have had mixed feelings about previous Ken Loach films – his ideals and heart are in the right place but somehow it doesn’t totally convince. Interesting review. Billy Bragg is always a favourite. Have still got Chavs on my reading pile too!

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