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In South Yorkshire, a small group of railway maintenance men discover that because of privatization, their lives will never be the same. When the trusty British Rail sign is replaced by one reading East Midland Infrastructure, it is clear that there will be the inevitable winners and losers as downsizing and efficiency become the new buzzwords. A cheery camaraderie is soon replaced by uncertainty and turmoil when their depot manager fills them in on the details of the new arrangement. Privatization means that the customer now comes first, something that is instilled into the men in new training sessions. But there are inconsistencies and shortsightedness to the new ways. Men used to working together now find themselves belonging to different, competing companies. Some even have to tender for their old jobs. Others decide to take the redundancy packages offered by the firm. As always, corners are cut in the interest of lowering costs, leading to a series of misadventures. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The vest that John wears in the beginning (with the meter) and end (their last job), is actually a British Rail safety vest, over his Gilchrist coat (when he moves you can see the gray on it). He has the combination on before the company is renamed Gilchrist Engineering. See more »
Marvelous film set in South Yorkshire, using local actors and comedians, done not so much in a documentary style, but with a documentary feel, about a group of railroad track workers during the privatization of British Rail. The culture changing from one of unionized steady jobs, to one of freelancing with no health care or holidays and for the sake of economy, stretching security which leads to the death of one of the workers. This presumably low budget film, shot all on location, is gritty, real, and is a wonderful insight into the British working class and its humor. A real treasure.
The fact that the previous reviewer apparently had other problems on her mind at the time should not dissuade anyone from seeing this excellent example of Ken Loach's work.
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