Friday, July 11, 2014

Another showing of King and Country, 1964

This month's Haringey Independent Cinema screening on Thursday 31st July takes a different look back to the 'Great War' currently being commemorated. Among the finest of a long line-up of 1960s anti-war films, King and Country gives an understated but chilling indictment of the horrors of war and the inhumanity of military justice. Read more about the film below.

As is our tradition this will also be our summer social so the evening begins with free food and drink and chat! Doors open at 7pm, and as always we're at West Green Learning Centre at Parkview School, West Green Road, N15 3RB. For travel directions see our website

[from email on behalf of Haringey Independent Cinema]

King and Country, 1964. 86 minutes Dir. Joseph Losey. (Unfortunately no subtitles available)

As with several British films made in the period of 60’s realism, including ‘Look Back in Anger’ and ‘A Taste of Honey’, King and Country was adapted from the stage play, ‘Hamp’. Losey utilises the trial of Tom Courtenay’s Private Hamp to show the unbelievable horrors of war as experienced in the medieval, rat-infested trenches of the First World War. The juxtaposition of soldier and officer in this setting strips bare the glaring class divisions and injustices demanded by imperialism.

Hamp, a poor, working class Islington lad, volunteers for the ‘Great War’ in blissful ignorance of what he is letting himself in for. Unhinged by traumatising events, he is arrested whilst attempting to walk home and charged with desertion. Hargreaves, the defending officer played by Dirk Bogarde, is Hamp’s antithesis – articulate, educated, urbane and self-assured. His initial disdain for Hamp’s ‘cowardice’ is rapidly transformed into something approaching sympathy when confronted by the realisation of the shabby inadequacies of notions like duty.

However shocking the film, it is difficult to believe that humanity could, once again, slide into a similar, barbaric abyss. Think again. The battleground has changed, with millions finding themselves in that abyss, courtesy of the continuing shocks of Bush/Blair’s perpetual ‘War on Terror’.

And an event coming up in Bristol:

Title: Should Britain Go To War with Germany?

Date: Saturday 26th July, 2014

Time: 2:00 pm

Part of: Remembering the Real WWI


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