Spring 1936, a young unemployed communist, David, leaves his hometown Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. He joins an international group of Militia-men and women, the ... See full summary »
Angie gets the sack from a recruitment agency for bad behaviour in public. Seizing the chance, she teams up with her flatmate, Rose, to run a similar business from their kitchen. With ... See full summary »
When an American human rights lawyer is assassinated in Belfast, it remains for the man's girlfriend, as well as a tough, no nonsense, police detective to find the truth... which they soon ... See full summary »
A train travels across Italy toward Rome. On board is a professor who daydreams a conversation with a love that never was, a family of Albanian refugees who switch trains and steal a ticket... See full summary »
At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the nun Maria is forced to flee her convent. She takes refuge in a brothel, until it is liberated by a woman's anarchist group. Maria joins the ... See full summary »
A simple tale of a year in the life of a Gamekeeper. From the troubles involved in rearing the pheasants and dealing with predators (poachers and foxes). The gamekeeper shows us all the ... See full summary »
Spring 1936, a young unemployed communist, David, leaves his hometown Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. He joins an international group of Militia-men and women, the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista). After being wounded he goes to Barcelona, where he decides to join another group of fighters. They remain in Barcelona and end up fighting other anti-fascist groups. David is disappointed and decides to go back to his old band. Written by
Walter de Rijk <W.C.A.de.Rijk@let.uva.nl>
When the group first arrive in the trenches, several can be seen carrying old Swedish army rucksacks. However, these were first issued in 1939 to the Swedish army, 3 years after the time-line of the movie. See more »
Is a film's literary antecedent normally so transparent?
... When it is not even acknowledged?
A left-wing lad goes to Spain, joins the otherwise totally obscure Marxist POUM militia, and experiences at first hand serious political differences with the Communists and their competing militia. Well, the lad does not actually get wounded in the throat during the course of the movie, but otherwise this is the biography of Eric Blair (George Orwell), as described in his book "Homage to Catalonia".
In spite of the single source cribbing, I did like this film in general since films about Spain in English, other than Canadian ones with Donald Sutherland as Dr. Norman Bethune, are few and far between.
It was wonderful to see a priest being shot in this film -- I don't mean it that way! -- since anti-clericalism was an important element both in the Spanish Civil War and in the French Revolution although it rarely seems to be mentioned much in the English-speaking world. The people in both countries felt the burden of traditional, oppressive, hypocritical Catholicism, just like the kind we had here in the Province of Quebec before the Quiet Revolution of the 1960's. At the other end of the political scale, the poor treatment of priests in Spain was a motivating force for Fascists in France to join the Charlemagne division of the Waffen SS to defend the cause of Christianity, or so The Sorrow and the Pity attests.
The Spanish war was about liberation from autocracy amidst a blizzard of competing, doctrinaire, left political philosophies. That was a really exciting time to be politically active, and there is a great scene of grassroots socialism in action at a town meeting.
The film has a rough-hewn, half-finished look characteristic of Ken Loach, but don't let that put you off. Anyone who can get worked up about the sometimes microscopic, casuistical differences between the Grits and the Tories, or the Democrats and the GOP, or New Labour and those other Tories, or Labor and National, or the SDP and the CDU, etc. should really love a movie, and a conflict, where the political spectrum is so broad for a change. Political animals of whatever bent should get a kick out of it.
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