Before I start this review, I'll confess that I am a Vote Leave supporter, so already I agree with this film politically. However, that doesn't mean I let the filmmaking aspect slip by the wayside, as I have enjoyed good films with (in my opinion) bad politics and vice versa. Thankfully however, this film doesn't fall into that trap. While I would argue it is an important film for British politics, it is also a very good documentary. Well researched, detailed, very accessible & surprisingly very funny, this is not only a great film politically but also one technically.
The structure of the film is very straightforward. The film explains why the poor economy of a post war Britain led them to join the EU, the initial benefits of it & (for most of the film) argues why the EU is no longer good for us, both democratically and financially. While the film does give the viewer a lot of information to digest and is slow at points because of it, it never once bores the audience. This is because of how well paced the film is which never drags on the same point for too long, and how it uses humour to deliver the facts. This is mainly encapsulated by how they discuss how over regulatory the EU is, where they make sarcastic jibes at why there are hundreds of laws for towels & toasters. All of this helps to balance the dark nature of the film about the UK's future and it's light tone, so it never becomes a heavy headed seminar but never too light to undermine the seriousness of the piece.
And boy, are things seriously wrong with the EU indeed. I will find it hard for anybody not to be shocked at how corrupt it all is, regardless of where you stand. The fact that they are in bed with corporations who constantly lobby them to give them more power and kill competition or the staggering wealth it's MEPs get (even so much as to have an exclusive shopping mall for them) it's fantastically corrupt. Meanwhile, the film does a good job of demonstrating the lack of democracy and unaccountability the EU has, explaining how the people don't vote for (and a lot of the time don't even know) those who run it. The film also highlights how it negatively affects small businesses (as shown by the shocking interview at the once rife fishing market) & helps bigger ones. From this film, it is clear that the EU is a terrible prospect to be in these days, and it will only get worse if we stay in. One thing you can't accuse the film of it's arguing it's case passionately, that's for sure.
And while the film is lacking in balance, it does at least do a decent job of presenting why the EU was good for Britain at first. After WW2, countries like Germany thrived due to an economic revolution whereas those who had won the war like the UK were floundering due to an overly regulated market, which had killed Britain's workshop of the world status. When we entered in the 70's, it was the best choice for Britain, especially considering how weaker the economy had become and how inflation had rapidly increased at that point. It was good for stabilising us back then. However, the film presents how the EU became the antithesis of what it stood for. This included when it screwed over it's own citizens by eventually allowing foreign competition in the EU which severely crippled economies of countries who had benefited from such monopolies before, leading to the rise of unrest and the far right.
It also discusses what alternative system we could adopt post-Brexit, and offers Switzerland as it's main example. It's quite faniscating to see how strong it is in comparison to the EU economically, with more trade deals and a higher economic growth rate. While some could argue that Switzerland's portrayal in the film is slightly rose tinted, it still seems like an interesting example of what a post-Brexit Britain could look like.
All of this information is presented well, particularly with interesting facts and statistics and the compelling interviews from people like UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, former Chancellor Nigel Lawson & many others. Add to that the humour and animated parts, and you have a case where all the parts make a satisfying & cohesive whole. While I will admit that it is very one-sided and slow at points, I would highly recommend it to all British voters, especially those who are undecided. It may preach to the converted, but I think it is definitely the most important film of the year and something you have to watch before casting your vote. Remember this: you future is at stake, and hopefully this film will help you determine which road you want Britain to go down. Choose wisely.
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