Criticism of this film = 'how dare a film express a political opinion without being, um... subtle and um... two-sided or some other thing'. Outside of politics no critic would criticise a filmmaker for being passionate about their topic, they'd criticise them for not being passionate enough but when, as is the case here, specific political ideologies are being represented in a way that is clearly representing the filmmaker's beliefs then they have committed some kind of crime, the crime of having their own opinion it seems.
There's no deceitful shaping of your views here as you might find in a big Hollywood biopic of a political figure- this is clearly one-sided and if you don't agree with that side then that's your view but it's no reflection on the film itself. I, for one, prefer the clear approach in this film to any kind of 'here's what I think but here's what they think to keep the others happy' pointlessness- there are no tricks here, if you don't agree with its account, then fair enough but to criticise it simply for representing a viewpoint is nonsense.
Anyway, enough about the 'special' kind of criticism that any documentary with a political angle gets- what about the film itself? I, unlike far too many it seems, am not going to review this based on how much I agree/disagree (AGREE) with what it is saying but rather I'll just judge on how much of an experience it was.
I did enjoy it- there was some great footage, engaging stories and it made its argument well. (again, regardless of whether it is right or wrong *cough* right *cough*) It got a little too nostalgic for me after a while, I wasn't alive in the times mentioned for the most part but I'm alive now and I doubt this would really appeal to other people in my situation unless they too, like myself, have an interest in politics. Something like this doesn't need to be a 'special interest' piece as Rotten Tomatoes puts it- like most documentaries it should be relatively accessible but I don't think this would appeal to many people my age and that is to some extent a fault with the film- I mean near the end of the film there is literally an appeal to pensioners to talk about 1945, well that's what the film does so it should be trying to appeal to everyone now.
There was also a real disjoint in the tone of this one- it seems to want to be a positive and 'hopeful for the future' kind of thing but the depressing black and white throughout takes away from that and joins the glum elements with the more positive ones that came beforehand making it all feel a bit more depressing than it should. What would have been good was digital restoration to make the first half in colour and then when Thatcher appeared it become black and white since that's clearly how the tone of the film goes anyway. It would have made a nice way of killing the nostalgic feeling of it all a little. Sure, there's the colour in the end but that comes right after the depressing description of today's world and so it does little in cheering one up. Visuals matter a'ight?
As so much of it is based on personal recollections of interviewees and such it would have been nice to see some more faces- plenty of people could have spoken about the issues and I just felt there was too much emphasis on the same people over and over again. Made it a little less interesting is all.
In the end it is a good film that frustrated me somewhat with its execution and just kept me depressed rather than giving me hope which is really what I was wanting from it considering the title. I'd give it 60% but I'll give it 70% simply because I agree with it. Before you call me a hypocrite- 10% either way isn't the same as bashing or obsessing over it simply because you agree/disagree with it so get off my back you, person, you. (I take this too seriously... no-one even reads these things... what am I doing with my life?)