Wednesday, July 13, 2011

FILM SHOWING - Land and Freedom

Haringey Independent Cinema are showing Ken Loach's film land and Freedom on Thursday 21st July at 7.15pm, West Green learning Centre, West Green Road, London N15

" Told from the point of view of Dave, a British volunteer who journeys from Liverpool to fight in the brutal civil war that engulfed Spain in 1936, Ken Loach’s masterpiece neither romanticises the conflict nor diminishes the dilemmas of individuals caught up in it.
     Dave’s political journey starts out in the Communist Party. But, he goes on to fight with the Marxist POUM militia in a civil war within the civil war, in which the POUM sided with a glorious but short lived anarchist inspired revolution in the City of Barcelona, ranged against the increasingly repressive forces of Stalinism.  "

This film has attracted much controversy simply because of the May Events of 1937 in Barcelona, when a communist coup that led to the annihilation of left wing party the POUM, and severely weakened anarchist power in Catalonia. Supporters of the Spanish communists and the Popular Front government have attacked the film both for its politics and its alleged historical inaccuracy. In many ways Loach based his film on Orwell's view of events in Catalonia, and communists have been vituperative in thier condemnations of Orwell's Homage to Catalonia.(1) Another example is Martha Gellhorn, travel writer and journalist, who was with Ernest Hemingway in Madrid in 1936; both were life-long fellow travellers. She rubbished the film in a review published in the London Evening Standard on 5 October 1995. An exchange of views about the film, with both the communist view and the contrary view, can be found at the website of the Marxist journal 'What next' . A contemporary view of the events in Barcelona written by Liston Oak - a communist - can be found on this blog

(1) Bill Alexander 'Spain and Orwell' in Inside the Myth : Orwell : views from the left. London 1984.

Pamphlet published on this blog Spain and the World : Aspects of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War

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