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The Spirit of '45 [DVD]


Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Spirit of '45 [DVD] + Tony Benn: Will And Testament [DVD] + Still The Enemy Within [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tony Benn
  • Directors: Ken Loach
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Dogwoof
  • DVD Release Date: 15 April 2013
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B26XU62
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,683 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

From BAFTA Award-winning director Ken Loach comes THE SPIRIT OF '45. Featuring an additional disc with over seven hours of extras including: 22 extended interviews with all contributors to the film; interview with Ken Loach; Ken Loach short film: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON; and much more. This is an essential release for all fans of Ken Loach and an overdue tribute to the men and women who created a new state where the character of the times was to be our brother's and our sister's keeper.

1945 was a pivotal year in British history. The unity that carried Britain through the war allied to the bitter memories of the inter-war years led to a vision of a better society. The spirit of the age was to be our brother's and our sister's keeper. Director Ken Loach has used film from Britain's regional and national archives, alongside sound recordings and contemporary interviews to create a rich political and social narrative.

THE SPIRIT OF '45 hopes to illuminate and celebrate a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK, the impact of which endured for many years and which may yet be rediscovered today.

Extras
2-disc edition with over 7 hours of extra material including:
- Interview with Ken Loach
- Ken Loach short film: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
- 22 Extended interviews with all contributors to the film
- UK trailer
- Audio Description option for the blind or partially sighted
- English HOH subtitles

Reviews
**** The Guardian
**** Time Out
**** The Telegraph
**** The Evening Standard
**** Metro
**** The Evening Standard

Review

"Films are rarely this committed or, indeed, persuasive" --The Guardian

"Loach movingly argues that we should look to the past for a better future" --Time Out

"A stirring film, it puts an eloquent and elegant case for a more humane society" --The Observer

"Loach movingly argues that we should look to the past for a better future" --Time Out

"A stirring film, it puts an eloquent and elegant case for a more humane society" --The Observer

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Mr. K. J. Morris on 17 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD
I have just returned from a full cinema on a Sunday afternoon from the first screening of Ken Loach's film 'Spirit of 45'. At the question and answer session with Ken and others, he was at pains to say that 'Spirit of 45' isn't the full story of what happened to the spirit of the first postwar Labour Party and how the postwar consensus led eventually to Margaret Thatcher and the brutality of the 1980s; that would have taken several episodes, but nevertheless, the film is a wonderful evocation of what was gained in the few short years between 1945 and 1952, and what we have since lost.

What Ken does, in newsreel film and interviews of the era, and recollections of those who lived at the time, is to evoke the spirit of a very important period in British history that followed the Labour landslide of 1945. In order to win a war, Britain became organised by and large on a socialst basis. People who had risked their lives in order to defeat the nazis and the Japanese (many of course lost theirs), knew that things had to change. Britain was broken after the war, but it managed to create a very different world, where health, quality housing and employment were seen as the right of everyone, irrespective of social standing.

Of course, there is much more to the story, and there are other viewpoints as another 'review' suggests, although it is my opinion that the 'reviewer' who gave this film three stars probably hadn't actually seen the film. The problem is that since 1979, the story that has been increasingly told is one that is very much at odds with the view presented here. For that reason alone, Ken Loach's film deserves to be seen widely.

Almost everybody I meet knows that something is very badly wrong with our society.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By PMcCarthy on 15 April 2013
Format: DVD
I've always been a fan of Ken Loach and his films for and about the people. The Spirit of '45 is unquestionably his greatest achievement; shining a light on the eponymous spirit of post-war Britain. In looking at the aftermath of WWII you could expect a lot of doom and gloom, however Loach wonderfully twists those tales into poignant and uplifting stories of inspiration.
Haven't had chance to take a look at the extras yet but I'm amazed at the scope of it all - a double-disc set is a rarity with docs, so this is excellent!
Really can't recommend this film enough, it needs to be seen by all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arturo on 7 July 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this film with very high – maybe too high – expectations and ended up feeling a bit disappointed. Politically, I agree with pretty much everything Loach is trying to say. The Labour reconstruction of post-war Britain with its emphasis on socialism, the common good and policies of nationalisation and public welfare provision – and this in the face of far more difficult economic circumstances than now - is, absolutely, an inspirational model for the present time. But I thought that the connections and lessons between that time and now were too weakly drawn.

For me, the problem was the rushed attempt to explain what Thatcherism had done. It’s not that Loach is wrong about this but it made the film less hard-hitting (and especially, perhaps, for those watching it for whom the Thatcher era is itself an historical memory) than if there had been more direct comparisons with today. It would have been better to go from 45-51 to today. For example, on nationalised electricity, some explicit comparison with the nonsense of ‘customer choice’ now – requiring endless calls to call centres to ‘achieve’ a best rate that promptly becomes anything but. Or, on railways, focussing not just on the accidents that followed privatization but on the massive rises in fares and of public subsidies to the private companies (far greater than BR ever received) that are happening right now. There were occasional moments (e.g. the brief discussion of contracting out of hospital cleaning) where this was achieved, but in general I felt that the ‘now and then’ linkage could have been much sharper. In some ways, I felt the whole thing would have worked better as a Loach drama than as a documentary, for example depicting a family in 1945 and the grandchildren of the same family now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By pilgrim on 24 Jun. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ok, It's Ken Loach, so you know it's going to be polemical at some point, but the there is so much that is excellent about this, that it is a must see. The vintage footage is incredible. The issues of the 1940s so resonant with that of today.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ago on 2 Jun. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I feel bad that all what was good for the working people, is gradually been dismantled, unfortunately not for the benifit of the working man, but for the rich, it is not a new idea, but it is the greed of a few.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Scott Grimhaw on 19 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD
Saw this film at the weekend and was very moved. Always been a fan of Ken Loach but never seen a documentary by him. It starts as a history lesson and throws you right in there with newsreel footage and people's firsthand accounts. It slowly builds and builds to give a great insight into just why we're in the situation we find ourselves now - it made me nostalgic, angry, sad and ultimately determined to try to do 'something'.

Very affecting piece of cinema and a must see. 5/5.
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