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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must-see film
I have seen The Happy Lands in various locations, including a special screening at the Scottish Parliament, on 3 separate occasions now, and I cannot recommend the film highly enough. The cast, all bar 2 professional actors, is entirely made up of people from the ex-mining communities in Fife, but, with the standard of professionalism shown and the passion they put into...
Published 11 months ago by S. Harris

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
I was brought up in the area where this was supposed to be based and lived in an miner's row after the second world war. Maybe people did get together more but I never witnessed it.
As for the story line I felt it jumped around a lot and I had to watch it twice to make any sense of it.
Published 2 months ago by Chinadam


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must-see film, 29 Aug 2013
By 
S. Harris "Holyroller" (Edinburgh, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen The Happy Lands in various locations, including a special screening at the Scottish Parliament, on 3 separate occasions now, and I cannot recommend the film highly enough. The cast, all bar 2 professional actors, is entirely made up of people from the ex-mining communities in Fife, but, with the standard of professionalism shown and the passion they put into their performances, you would never know this. The similarities between 1926 and the austerity measure we all know and loathe today are uncanny; whoever said that history repeats itself is spot on.
Watch this film. You'll laugh, you'll cry, in places you'll be on the edge of your seats, but over and above this you'll see true community in action, people looking after each other, sharing hardships. This film will change your outlook on life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film !, 29 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
I agree with EVERYTHING the previous reviewer has said. I thought that this film was a fitting tribute to the miners and their families who suffered at the hands of the mine owners and the government of the time. And yes.......NOTHING changes !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fife Mining, 11 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
Have seen the film 3 times and bought this DVD as a present. The content shows how Miners and their families fought for a better standard of living for their families. This is a very emotional piece of film to view. This epitomises the Class struggle. Glad it has been documented. This film should be used in Schools to show younger Generations of the harshness of life in years gone past.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dont miss this wonderful film, 5 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
The Happy Lands will leave you with a heavy heart but one bursting with pride at the spirit shown by a community under attack from uncaring employers. The film features REAL miners and their families from the coalfields of Fife and their efforts have been acclaimed whenever or wherever it has been screened. It is a tremendous landmark in the history of the working class and you will cry, laugh and experience just about every other emotion before the final credits. Congratulations to everyone involved and a sincere thank you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Recommend Highly Enough, 6 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
I initially only went to see this film as my son had a very small part in it. However, I was blown away by it. The acting by the main characters is fantastic, especially when you consider that they are not all professional actors. The storyline is sensitively handled and very moving. I can't recommend this film highly enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed, 5 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
This is a fabulous film that tugs the heartstrings for all the right reasons. Although set in 1926 politically thought-provoking and with relevance and resonance for a modern viewer. Great performances by the main actors. The cinematography is atmospheric and nostalgic -moving from the gritty reality of the miners' work to the domestic and encompassing the strong community spirit of the mining community.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tories then and Tories now..., 5 Nov 2013
By 
P. Leswell "Herriot2" (Scotland, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
...and not one thing has changed. I was brought up in the areas depicted by the film (though not in 1926 I hasten to add)the name "The HappyLands" is (was) an area of Lochgelly by the same name.

This is an excellent film made all the more poignant by the passion and dedication shown by all the volunteer actors. All the actors were local people and some were actual miners (Joki Wallace who plays Dan Guthrie was a miner for years). The daughters of former miners who were involved in the Miners strike of 1926 talk about their father's grandfathers experience.

This may have been their first acting role but the film is all the better for it. This is an emotional film but can also be funny at times - the miners' jokes can be funny and cutting. One reviewer said that this is a film they didn't want you to see. This is 100% correct. The "they" in question would be the current government. By Coincidence it was the same government in power then as it is now and the similarities are astounding.

I have saw this film three times now (and will now watch it endlessly) and on one occasion at the Scottish Parliament at their Festival of Politics. To use a cliché if there is only one film you get this year then this is the one to get. Thanks to *all* who were involved in the production of this film. Go Buy it (also it is region free so can be bought and played around the world). The dialect of the film is in broad Fife but there is an option, should you need it, of having it subtitled in English and, strangely, French. Oh and it is a 12 rated film but I have no idea why. It's an accurate account of what happened and yes there is some language in it but that is, as they say, life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and powerful piece of work, 27 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent depiction of this very important period for the working miners of Fife. What shines through is the passion and the suffering of all those caught up in the strike . The use of people from that community as actors who hold memories and stories handed down by their parents adds that special atmosphere and authenticity to this production. A must for all those wondering why at times even against the odds people need to take a stand against injustice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story with a great message, 17 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
Most of the actors in 'The Happy Lands' are non-professionals, local people from Fife where the film is set. This adds to the authenticity and immediacy of the film in my opinion. It tells the story of one small mining community during the 1926 General Strike and the long struggle of the miners which followed - their slogan was "not a penny off the pay, not a minute on the day." It is effective because it concentrates on a few individuals and families, and we see the events through their eyes. It tells a great human-interest story, with plenty of drama, heartbreak, fear and action - it is not a 'dry' bit of history or a lecture on socialism!
This rarely-discussed period of British history is one that should be remembered, when working people (many of whom had fought for their country in the First World War, like Michael in the film,) found their wages cut, their working conditions worsened and their jobs and homes under threat... and found the courage to organise and fight to defend themselves, their families and their communities. You can view it as a piece of the past if you like, but I believe it has resonance and relevance for people today. I thoroughly recommend this film to anyone who cares about justice, fairness and solidarity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie, 6 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Happy Lands [DVD] (DVD)
I'm so happy I got offered to be in this movie it has a great story and it gets emotional at parts oh I just love it!
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The Happy Lands [DVD]
The Happy Lands [DVD] by Robert Rae (DVD - 2013)
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