Your feedback on Spirit of ’45

We received feedback from 17 members and guests, following the screening of Spirit of ’45 on 10th September.

Here’s how you rated the film:

  • ‘Excellent’: 3 votes
  • ‘Very Good’: 6 votes
  • ‘Good’: 4 votes
  • ‘Satisfactory’: 2 votes
  • ‘Poor’: 0 vote
  • 2 comments received without a rating

Read the full comments 

We would like to apologise for the lack of response slips.  If you didn’t (or weren’t able to) leave comments on the night or, having had time to reflect, you wish to say more about the film, we would welcome your replies here.

3 thoughts on “Your feedback on Spirit of ’45

  1. The general consensus from the comments would be that the film is biased towards the socialist view – to the point of becoming almost a Party Political Broadcast. The film gives the impression of the country united behind a Labour Government determined to overhaul our society. In fact, the country remained deeply divided as wartime austerity and shortages continued long after other other economies began to recover (why else were the Conservatives swept back into power in 1951).

    The revolutionary housing described in the film reminded me of the Beacontree Housing Estate in Dagenham, where I grew up – except this was built in the ’30s (by a Labour Council) as a result of the expansion of the District Line to Upminster. Labour was also responsible for the Concrete Jungles (Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, St Pauls in Bristol, etc.) that exploded in violence in the ’80s, and the high-rise slums built in Plaistow, Newham and Barking (most of which have now been demolished).

    Ignoring the ’60s and ’70s (with the 3-day week and the Winter of Discontent) overlooks the fact that – at the point Thatcher’s Conservatives were elected – British Society was very much broken and in need of radical change (not that Rampant Thatcherism and the wholesale disposal of State assets was anything like the right solution. As the film rightly points out, splitting Utilities, the Post Office and Railways into multiple companies doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t increase competition, only bureaucracy, and dissuades investment as each company’s principle concern is maximising returns to it’s shareholders).

    As the film began, I was struck by just how much we have returned to pre-war values (every man for himself, only looking out for number one). A more balanced film could have addressed the mistakes made and served as a rallying cry for a second social revolution. Unfortunately, this wasn’t it.

  2. I think Bob has some very relevant and cogent points. My only thought is that a so-called ‘balanced’ film – like one for the BBC? – would have been a boring film, and not, particularly, good cinema. For me the real people giving their views was one of the most endearing aspects of the Loach enterprise. Governments make mistakes. I believe Harold Wilson may have closed more coal mines than Thatcher, but for economic reasons. Thatcher closed them,all at once, for political reasons. Those terrible housing estates were too much and too big, agreed. Nothing wrong, for instance, in selling ‘council’ houses to sitting tenants – it was in the Labour manifesto of ’51 – but the money had to be used to build more ‘council’ houses, which Thatcher was, of course, dead against. Political reasons! But the film was about the ‘spirit’ of ’45. It didn’t last long or go down well with a lot of voters in ’51, true. For me the film was extremely watchable and fascinating. Another one called ‘The Spirit of ’79’? Who will write and direct?

  3. If you want a film about the “Spirit of ’79,” take a look at The Good Father ( ) with Anthony Hopkins, Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter, and Simon Callow, among others.

    The late seventies were not a pretty time, but the age of Friedman, then in its nascence, strikes me as far more odious and damaging to humanity.

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