A compassionate study of hopes and hopes deceived.
Kenneth Loach's story of three people living through the period between the world wars covers the recovery from the slaughter after 1918, the conflict in Ireland, the Depression and the general strike. Though the overall outcome is a betrayal of the hopes of ordinary people, it is not depressing or preachy. The director's point of view is always overt, but the great impressions are of compassion and of complete truthfulness in the representation of characters. After seeing and hearing one of the group scenes, of conversations in a pub, for example, you realise that every similar scene you've experienced before in film or on television was quite artificial. The rather drawn face of the (then young) Paul Copley in the leading role is unforgettable. This is at the top of my great experiences on television.
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