Reviews

The Spirit of '45

3

Ken Loach's timely and stirring doc

Ken Loach’s first non-fiction film since dockers’ doc The Flickering Flame (1998), this study of nationalisation is a curious mix of rose-tinted nostalgia and impassioned pleading.

Mixing fascinating archive footage (Winston Churchill being heckled) with colourful interviews – from Labour MP Tony Benn to working-class nonagenarians – Loach shows how community spirit rebuilt postwar Britain as the government took control of health and housing etc.

The film falters when it jumps 30 years to show how Margaret Thatcher dismantled it all, though Loach’s climactic call for protection of the NHS is both timely and stirring.

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