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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 May 2010
Excellent DVD both in terms of its filmic style and the subject matter. An important historical document that should be shared with all young people, as a unique window into a community and way of life that has disappeared in Britain. Challenging, emotionally and intellectually. Buy it.
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on 26 January 2012
These films show how the Thatcher government set aside the rule book, the media turned a blind eye to, and in a lot of cases completely distorted the facts beyond recognition, and totally misrepresented the miners. They show the police in huge numbers brutalising the miners with total immunity from any comeback, many on horseback. The films show how this was no ordinary industrial dispute, but was in effect a one sided war - how you don't mess with Thatcher & Co. Very sad. Now look at us, importing nearly all our fuel, next to no industry left, but still reading the Sun. Nothing much has changed really, oh except now we have X Factor now of course!
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on 20 June 2013
Having grown up in a South Wales mining community, I can vouch for the accuracy of the descriptions in these DVDs of how miners and their families were treated by the government and police during the 1984 dispute, when miners were striking not for a pay increase but for their very livelihoods. None of this was shown by the broadcast media at the time and, as a result, a skewed version of events was presented to the UK public. These films, at least, provide some balance to the historical record.
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The Miners strike of 1984 to 1985 was a pivotal time in the Trades Union movement of the UK. Some said it was a last stand for the hard won rights of ordinary workers to have any union with teeth enough to be able to defend their collective rights - and they were right. This is a collection of the films made by the Miners Tape Project and each short film tells a part of that struggle from the perspective of those who struck or those who supported them. Any accusations of being biased in the miners favour are well founded - however, this was a drop in the ocean compared to the massive media mis representation of the strike and the strikers.

The `newspapers' and TV all gave such a one sided view of the entire thing that I have been left sneering at them to this day - I have never bought a newspaper since of any colour as underneath they are all the same. This has footage that tells the stories from Orgreave, Barnsley, Calverton, Chesterfield, Kent, Scotland and Yorkshire to name but a few. We have interviews with the likes of Dennis Skinner, Paul Foot and footage that include Tony Benn and of course Arthur Scargill who does a fair bit of speechifying.

The parts dealing with the police were particularly painful to recall - this was when the scales fell away from the eyes of many to see the boys in blue for what they really were - an extension of the state to perpetuate the self interests of those that run it. The illegal road blocks, the violence and intimidation and the 18% pay rise that Thatcher gave the `upholders of law and order' are all documented - not so the agent provocateurs that were employed by the police though as this was made in August 1984 and it was yet to come to light the full extent of the police corruption. This was later featured in the NUM weekly magazine `The Miner' which I used to leave on train seats in the south in an attempt to counter the tsunami of media bias that was assailing us everywhere.

We also have the action of those who wanted to work - but not in any in depth way. The support factions and Women's' Groups are all referenced as is the privations that the miners and their families went through in order to stand up for their basic freedoms and to protect jobs in Thatchers' dystopian Britain. I have never been as politicised again as I was then and went on more demos than I can remember. And that is the point irrespective of what side you were on or where your bread be buttered it is imperative that we remember what did take place under a British sky where we are supposed to be the upholders of freedom.

Thatcher campaigned under the banner `Britain Strong and free' - instead it was divided and weak and working class solidarity and class war was where the real fight was. This sadly heralded the world and society we have today - the `me generation' and self interest being seen as a virtue - greed is good - poor is bad. Never has one woman done so much to destroy the fabric of a country and destroy whole communities in the tunnelled vision pursuit of a deranged and discredited political ideology.

Films like this lack production values, they lack balance, they may even lack objectivity; but they also reflect the situation as was then and as is now and that is that you have to take sides and as the oft sung line goes `which side are you on boys? - I know my side and I am firmly with those who took up the fight - win or lose we are better people for having tried.
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on 16 June 2010
Watching this brought me to tears, remembering the damage done to our people and communities in a short space of time. Even now, many of our towns and villages are still suffering.
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on 18 April 2013
What a great dvd it certainly opened my eyes as to what happened in the strike it is a great eye opener
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on 5 September 2013
Arrived very quickly in perfect state.
A really interesting visual account of the miners strike in 84, with great interviews and fascinating footage.
Excellent.
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on 10 August 2014
A thought provoking look at what is still recent history, telling the story from another perspective than the official version. Well recommended.
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on 31 March 2015
A terrible time as this tape shows.
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on 21 January 2016
takes me back in time when i was on strike very good to be here to see the truth what had been planned before the strike unbelievable
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