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The Spirit of '45 (2013)

A documentary on how the spirit of unity, which buoyed Britain during the war years, carried through to create a vision of a fairer, united society.


Ken Loach


Ken Loach
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Credited cast:
Winston Churchill ... Self (archive footage)
Tony Benn Tony Benn ... Self - Labour Minister
Clement Attlee Clement Attlee ... Self (archive footage)
Aneurin Bevan Aneurin Bevan ... Self - Minister of Health (archive footage)
Inky Thomson Inky Thomson ... Self - Miner and NUM Official
Bill Ronksley Bill Ronksley ... Self - Former President, Train Drivers Union, ASLEF
Deborah Garvie Deborah Garvie ... Self - Housing Worker
David Hopper David Hopper ... Self - General Secretary, North East NUM
George Lansbury George Lansbury ... Self - Labour Politician (archive footage)
Eileen Thompson Eileen Thompson ... Self - Nurse
Simon Midgley Simon Midgley ... Self - Postman and CWU Representative
Ray Davies Ray Davies ... Self - Miner and Steelworker
John Farrell John Farrell ... Self
Herbert Morrison ... Self - Labour Minister (archive footage)
Sam Watts Sam Watts ... Self


A documentary on how the spirit of unity, which buoyed Britain during the war years, carried through to create a vision of a fairer, united society.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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User Reviews

May be seen by some as a bit one sided and self indulgent, but still admirably done
6 April 2013 | by davideo-2See all my reviews

STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Ken Loach has quite a backlog of work as a performance film maker, but his latest work, laying his unashamed socialist leanings firmly on the line, is presented in a documentary format. Loach thrusts us back in time to the immediate post war years, where with a country in ruins and millions sick and injured, there was no shortage of work and so the people had the power, coming together to re-build the country and form one huge powerful united front that let them decide their own fate, all under the thrust of a powerful Labour movement. The real main objective of the movement was not to go back to the appalling poverty of before the war, which nobody noticed and was just accepted by those who lived in it. Flash forward twenty five years or so, to the arrival of Thatcher.

The main trouble, when politics is presented as art, is that you are naturally going to spur on and impress those who agree with you and form the most spiteful critics out of those who think you don't know what you're talking about. Like the most high horsed (but probably best) Michael Moore offering, Ken Loach here bombards us with a presentation of faces, talking heads, if you will, of a mostly much older generation who vividly bring the original socialist movement back to life, and try to paint a portrait of the sort of things that originally spurned it on.

Reminding me of Moore's work a little, as it does, it's all naturally quite one sided and could even be seen as somewhat self indulgent/important, but where Loach gets it right is by managing to make the film's argument so persuasive anyway, genuinely managing to craft a scene where the poor/lower classes generally had no voice and by realizing their combined power, improved things for themselves and their families, only to have it all snatched back from them many years later.

It never feels pretentious in any way. It's just the work of a proud and accomplished director, maybe wearing his heart on his sleeve a little, maybe not being as subtle as he could be, but presenting something made with such insight and, well, spirit you can't help but be impressed anyway. *****

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Release Date:

15 March 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

1945年の精神 See more »


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Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital
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