1987, love in time of war. A bus driver George Lennox meets Carla, a Nicaraguan exile living a precarious, profoundly sad life in Glasgow. Her back is scarred, her boyfriend missing, her ... 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 »
This Ken Loach docu-drama relates the story of a British woman's fight with Social Services over the care of her children. Maggie has a history of bouncing from one abusive relationship to ... 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 »
Summer 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>
The International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War were foreign volunteers who flocked to the conflict between 1936-9, thousands fighting for the left-wing Republicans with smaller numbers joining the right-wing Nationalists. The motivations for the volunteers was diverse, some seeing the conflict as a battle between democracy and tyranny, others between Communism and Fascism. So many Americans joined the Republicans they were able to form their own unit, the 'Abraham Lincoln Brigade'. Different factions of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) fought for both sides whilst their enemies the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) sent men and arms to aid the Republicans (George Nathan, one of the International Brigade's greatest heroes was an ex-Black and Tan who had served in the Irish Troubles of 1919-21 and now found himself fighting alongside his former enemies). The Soviet Union provided some military support for the Republicans but this was dwarfed by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy who not only sent massive military aid to the Nationalists but dispatched the 'Condor Legion' of German warplanes manned by Luftwaffe crews. Numerous famous figures took part in the conflict, most notably author George Orwell who fought on the Catalonian front, film star Errol Flynn who worked as a reporter as did famous spy Kim Philby. See more »
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 »
It is, perhaps, surprising that more films about the Spanish Civil War haven't been made. The Spanish landscape, the sheer ruthlessness of any civil war, and the perceived Spanish emotions all combine to make what would appear to be an attractive proposition for a film-maker. The names of Picasso and Lorca will forever have an association with the war, yet where are the artists representing cinema? All the more surprising then that it should have been British director Ken Loach who took up the cudgels. Loach is probably best known for his gritty portrayals of the British working class (and under-class), something that has, perhaps, made him more approachable outside his own country.
In tackling the Spanish Civil War any writer is faced with the overwhelming complexities that underlie the events. The regionalism (think only of the Catalan and Basque regions, let alone Galicia and Andalusia), the monarchy, the Catholic Church, landowners, trade unions, anarchists plus the leaderships of the Nationalist and Republican movements all combined to create a very tangled web. Add to that outside involvement, principally from Mussolini and Stalin, the vacillation of Britain and France and, of course, the omnipresence of Hitler, and anyone might wonder where to start.
Loach and Allen take their approach through the eyes of an unemployed Liverpudlian, David Carr (admirably played by Ian Hart) who, as a card-carrying member of the Communist Party, answers the call to fight for the Republic. We follow his exploits through a number of episodes, involving battles, falling in love, injury and, ultimately, a degree of disillusion as the reality of Stalin's views eventually come to dominate, and eventually destroy, his cause. The film is supremely well-made, highlighting the horrors, the camaraderie, and the political divisions. In particular, the debate amongst the militia about collectivisation after they have taken a small town takes no sides, but simply allows a number of valid arguments to be exposed within the context of the shifting sands of the war.
There is still ample material for the industry to go on to make more films on this important period in history. But Loach has set the benchmark.
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