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The Spirit of `45 Poster

The Spirit of `45

Switching from populist feature (The Angels’ Share) to polemical documentary, Ken Loach summons lively archive footage and colourful survivor testimony to evoke the collective spirit that won World War II and carried over into the 1945 Labour election victory (at the expense of wartime leader Winston Churchill). The nationalisations and cradle-to-grave health care policies that Attlee’s government established so extensively were precisely the ‘society’ that Thatcher decreed did not exist and proceeded to close down or sell off. Loach’s reassertion of the old one-for-all values is explicitly directed at defending what little is left from further privatisation but it’s tempting to see it too as his counter blast to the hubbub of the wicked witch’s funeral. (Knowing where his audience lies, he shock-cuts to her quoting St Francis.)

1hr 34mins long

Winston Churchill
Tony Mulhearn
Tony Benn
Clement Attlee