Bata-ville: We Are Not Afraid of the Future

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In 1894 Tomas Bata founded a footwear company in the Moravian town of Zlín. By the outbreak of the second world war the company had fulfilled Tomas' ambition to become "shoemakers to the world", with factories in 30 countries including two in the UK - at Maryport in Cumbria and East Tilbury on the Thames Estuary.Early Bata factories were at the heart of progressive model townships of homes, shops and community facilities based on the original Bata town of Zlín.In 2004, artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie hosted Bata-ville, a journey which took former workers from Maryport and East Tilbury to Zlín, now in the Czech Republic.Accompanied by other passengers, they went in search of the spirit of Bata and the legacy of its charismatic founder. The film Bata-ville, We are not afraid of the future documents this journey ...Bata-ville, can be seen as a document of a journey - rather than a documentary - a film developed by two artists out of a public art commission. It's a sad film, but in many ways it's subject matter is optimism. It essentially takes the form of a road movie, but the towns at the heart of the film: East Tilbury, Maryport and Zlín, are all 'nowhere' places, linked only by past connections to the Bata shoe empire and future government-led regeneration agendas.--© Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Bata-ville: We Are Not Afraid of the Future

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  • Bata-ville is a strange homage to a mystified, iconic Bata, but offers little insight into the empire's true story other than the overused, overdramatized slogan We are not afraid of the future.

    Mar 30, 2006 | Full Review…

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