During the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns home to Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Seeing the levels of poverty and oppression, the activist in him reawakens and he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.
When an American human rights lawyer is assassinated in Belfast, it remains for the man's girlfriend, as well as a tough, no nonsense, police detective to find the truth... which they soon ... 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 »
As to be expected extremely one-sided but well crafted.
An excellent film in terms of explaining both what the title says, "The Spirit of 1945" leading to the massive victory of the Labour Party in the UK general election of that year and also the roots of that victory. Loach (correctly) goes back to the end of the First World War and how the promises of "A Land fit for Heroes" was betrayed and millions of working men and their families instead spent most of the inter-war years (not just the so-called "Hungry Thirties") living in poverty and destitution. Their children were determined to build a better Britain and, as Loach shows, this feeling was also shared by many people from much wealthier backgrounds as well (in which bodies during the war such as the Army Bureau of Contemporary Affairs also played a significant role). Loach does not shy away from showing the weaknesses of the Labour Government's policies (e.g. very much "top down" and with no trace of the kind of Mitbestimmung which helped to rebuild West German industry in the same period), but he nevertheless paints far too positive a picture of what Attlee's governments actually achieved.
By going straight from this period (1945-51) to the arrival of "the Wicked Witch" (Thatcher) in Downing Street in 1979, he is able to skate right over how much the Labour Government had NOT accomplished and just how rotten much of British industry and society was by the early-/mid-1970s (and which provided the environment in which Thatcher could only have come to power.) The short-sightedness of union leaders, for example, in focusing purely and simply on short-term economic gain for their members and rejecting totally Castle's "In Place of Strife" proposlas plus "holding the public to ransom" on unlimited occasions in the 1960s and 1970s is simply ignored as not fitting in with the polemic.
In conclusion, watch this film to explain why the Labour election landslide happened, but if you want to know "what happened next", watch the 1959 comedy "I'm all right,Jack" as well. For every stalwart nurse and miner shown in Loach's film, there were unfortunately far too many "Fred Kites" leading their unions in the years after Attlee left office as well!
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