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 »
This Ken Loach film tells the story of a man devoted to his family and his religion. Proud, though poor, Bob wants his little girl to have a beautiful (and costly) brand-new dress for her ... See full summary »
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 »
Redundancies, privatisation of the British Rail ...is always Ken Loach
I was lucky to see during the festival of Venice in Milan this very recent film from the good "social" director Ken Loach.
A group of friends in 1995 work in the Yorkshire for the ex-state owned: British Rail, which meanwhile has been completely fragmented in a tremendous number of small private companies that compete one against the other in order to be more competitive and gain the different bids. This situation leads the whole structure of each private company to a very profitable organisation offering a very poor service that has to save money from any single item of the fixed/variable costs structure of the economic statement.
Loach this time points out the lost of the social benefits of the labour class in a blackmail black and white situation where, if they want to get the job, they have to leave with these conditions which do not guarantee any type of social and physical safety to the worker.
It is not by chance that England has been the frame of several train accidents during the last years.
Unions are getting weaker and weaker and the so called "trouble makers" are led to leave the companies. The whole film is nicely viewed with some very fine, pretty uncommon in previous Loach's films, British humour. The scene where the supervisor has to read to the workers the message from the top management of productivity and their new rights is hilarious and superbly performed.
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