Magazine article New Internationalist

Land & Freedom

Magazine article New Internationalist

Land & Freedom

Article excerpt

THIS FILM IS AN IMPASSIONED essay that reflects on a crucial moment in the twentieth century when people throughout Europe and the US gathered together in Spain to participate in the fight against fascism. The Spanish Civil War was called 'the last great crusade'-with the country becoming a battleground for the conflicting ideologies of the era.

Symbolically recovering the past, the film commences in the present in a Liverpool council housing estate where a young woman is trawling through the belongings of David, her grandfather who has just died. She finds letters and photographs which point to a history about which he had always kept quiet. Loach uses the familiar device to slip the audience back in time to find the young David, unemployed and disillusioned with life in Britain during the Depression.

Loach's hero is typical of those who made the journey to Spain, eager and entranced by the possibilities of fighting for a belief but not quite comprehending what it might entail. …

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