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Taking Liberties [2007] [DVD]

David Morrissey , Ashley Jensen , Chris Atkins    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: David Morrissey, Ashley Jensen, Riz Ahmed, Kate Allen, Ross Anderson
  • Directors: Chris Atkins
  • Writers: Chris Atkins
  • Producers: Chris Atkins, Antonin Sacha Laberge, Christina Slater, Justin Marciano, Kurt Engfehr
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Revolver Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Oct 2007
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000S6UZRO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,090 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

With the 'shockumentary' TAKING LIBERTIES, director Chris Atkins puts Tony Blair's New Labour government firmly in his crosshairs and takes aim.

Reviled over his handling of the 'War on Terror' and special relationship with U.S. President George W Bush, Blair's image took a very public battering from which it never fully recovered.

Much like Michael Moore sought to undermine the U.S. administration and make a fool out of the president with FARENHEIT 9/11, Atkins has constructed a similar argument using previously unseen footage intercutting with commentary from various talking heads such as Mark Thomas, Boris Johnson and Tony Benn as well as other leading politicians, celebrities, human rights organisations, academics and more.

The result is a revealing and entertaining look at the burning issues of the UK today.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking Liberties Since 1997 25 May 2008
An interesting book whose premise is that Democracy is something that your children will read about in a book (if they're allowed to) and by the end of it, you may be inclined to agree.
Successive Labour party apparatchiks are squandering 800 years of hard won rights for the common man and want you to lay down your freedoms for your lives where past generations laid down their lives for your freedoms. As Benjamin Franklin said "those who give up their Liberty for temporary security, deserve neither". Those liberties survived the Second World War, the Cold War and thirty years of IRA terrorism, but are under sustained assault epitomised by a quote from Tony Blair (a lawyer) boasting that civil liberties were made for another age and who feels that you can give up your freedoms to somehow become more free.
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, for example, blurs the distinction between what is wrong and what is illegal, giving the police a broad raft of powers, which if improperly applied may not amount to living in a police state, but certainly lays the foundation for one, allowing the people to be punished before the courts have decided what laws have been broken (i.e. being handed over to another state's jurisdiction without due evidence of a crime being committed). The drive to change the relationship between the State, its servants and the people can be best summed up by a quote by Thomas Jefferson, " when the people fear the government, there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty." That they must fear us and desire to control us is the persuasive message this book sends out.
One is reminded of the climax of Animal Farm as much as of 1984.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking Liberties 5 Aug 2007
I saw this at the cinema and would urge all who value such rights as freedom of speech, habeus corpus, right to protest and privacy as fundamentals of British society to watch this film. Director Chris Atkins reveals how laws passed in recent years have eroded these and other rights, through the use of animation, personal testimonies and some informed commentary.
In spite of the subject matter, the film does not drag and entertains. And it is both reassuring and amusing to see the very ordinary, yet very special heroes in this film, standing up for our rights in the most British of ways. They are brave folk, but do nothing that the rest of us couldn't do too, if we could only get off our backsides..
This film will make you angry, sad, frustrated, and probably shock you - it means to. Its aim is to wake us all up, before it is too late, and all our liberties have been taken away.
Buy it, watch it, inflict in on all who know you - and then get them to do the same!
Incidentally, the excellent soundtrack is available on cd and a percentage goes to Amnesty.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars in The Guardian 16 Oct 2007
Peter Bradshaw
Friday June 8, 2007
The Guardian

It may not tell us much that's new, but there's something exhilarating about this thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile docu-blast against Tony Blair's insidious diminution of native British liberties. Director Chris Atkins shows how, since 1997, New Labour's residual passion for ideology, combined with a fear of looking Spartist or soft on terror, has combined to deliver a panic-stricken abandonment of liberties that we'd somehow held on to in the face of Nazi Germany and the IRA.

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Some pundits may find it deficient in sophistication or the fence-sitting neutrality of good taste; for me it was a vitamin-boost of scepticism. Cheerful, polemical and tactless, Atkins's film raises a celebratory glass to the spirit of British awkwardness and bloody-mindedness, the dissident spirit that infuses both the anti-war protesters and the Countryside Alliance - Mark Thomas and Boris Johnson alike. "What about Magna Carta?" demands Tony Hancock in a nicely chosen clip. "Did she die in vain?" In the strangest way, Hancock is the tutelary deity behind many of the English protesters here: very often elderly and apolitical souls who feel they have earned the right not to be bullied by the macho-menopausal apparatchiks of the Blair/Brown succession.
It is an old story. Mr Blair was once ferociously against ID cards, and now he loves them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Building a scaffold to hang our freedom on 12 Jan 2008
This documentary has been attacked as one-sided and partisan. There is certainly no doubt that it passionately argues a case rather than presenting both sides of the argument without making judgement.
Yet it is difficult to see how any rational person without a vested interest could argue against the principal charge that our traditional rights and freedoms are under threat.

The scaffold on which are freedom is to be sacrificed is being erected plank by plank as this documentary details. First our right of protest is being restricted. New laws and worrying application of civil injunctions together with draconian actions and 'in-your face' surveillance by an increasing politicised police force.

Second, rights stemming from the Magna Carta are being removed. Detention without trial in our country in the form of tagging and house imprisonment and a blind-eye to US torture and detention in places like Guantanamo.

How do our leaders justify all this? They talk of public protection and defending democracy. The documentary, however, makes the case that we are not considerably safer but we are a lot less free as a result. One also is led to wonder if we would need all this 'protection' if we had a more reasonable and equitable approach to Muslim and Arab countries. Tony Blair knew that an occupation of Iraq would lead to an increase in terrorism. We have known for years that a slavish anti-Palestinian policy creates ill-will. Yet the same people who have created the problem now offer to protect us from the consequences - at a price!

This documentary holds your attention and serves to warn us all of the Police State that we may slide into. The most damning part of the documentary isn't the graphics, the interviewees or the commentary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars He's right but...
Many governments since 9/11 have stripped rights from people but it started way before that. Why no mention of Thatcher's privatisations? Read more
Published 7 months ago by Zero
5.0 out of 5 stars Retrospective Rebels are Not Enough!
This title is great for waking people up to some important issue that go without discussion in the mainstream. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Einstein
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom?!!Look closer........
Exellent dvd at highlighting what freedom is and how much of it we actually have in practice..Read and watch Noam Chomsky's work for further study if you are getting that feeling... Read more
Published 12 months ago by johntmma
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting watch
good watch very interesting to see how big companies and the gov work together to get as much as they can from us the public
Published 20 months ago by MATT
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - Nice for us Brits to have some too!!!
I love all the American Political DVD's but it's nice to have something closer to home. This DVD is the shocking truth! The footage is there to be viewed. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by A. Parsons
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't recommend this enough
If there's one film you have to see this year, it's this one. You NEED to watch this if you care at all about freedom and civil liberties. Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2011 by mushrooms
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp, disturbing documentary
A very disquieting documentary about the gradual leaching away of civil
rights under Tony Blair. Read more
Published on 24 Jun 2011 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as funny as I thought it would be, but still very good.
This film is very informative, giving details of how the Blair Government changed the whole of Britain's laws and essentially turning us in to a Police State by default. Read more
Published on 6 April 2011 by Bobaah
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirmed my worst fears
A very informative and thorough book. It unfortunately confirmed my worst fears as I helplessly watch Tony Blear and his cohorte dismantle our excellent laws and remove our liberty... Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2011 by Cat Balou
5.0 out of 5 stars Significant, interesting, thought-provoking
Working rather in the tradition of Michael Moore, 'Taking Liberties' offers a thought-provoking, if one-sided (of course), view of the limitations to Civil Liberties that have come... Read more
Published on 25 April 2010 by Ab Ison
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