Land and Freedom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Land and Freedom Reviews

Page 2 of 14
March 31, 2010
Ken Loaches masterpiece in my book. For one small but important moment in time real democracy in the form of Libertarian Socialism existed amongst the militia fighting for a Republic in Spain. It was born during the Spanish Civil War and died before the war ended. This was a small, volatile and complicated part of modern history but Loach captures the mood perfectly and represents the ideologies and dreams of the people in a way that can be easily understood from one mans personal perspective. Greater powers conspired to destroy the good work but the fact that revolution gave birth to real democracy spontaneously and that it grew organically was a testament to the peoples courage and commitment. It also brings with it the hope that this may happen day.
February 8, 2010
Interesting, if true, but as a movie, it's nothing special. One of those films where, at times, you could think it moved into documentary teritory such is the direction which is good.
½ January 28, 2010
Absolutely brilliant!!!
I've seen this film three times now and I never get tired of it.
A fascinating look at the Spanish Civil War. The fact that the film is recorded in Catalan, English and Spanish makes it all the more realistic.
½ January 18, 2010
If I had to score a movie based on the number of times I've watched it this one would have to score 100%. I'm not going to though. Everything in this film is brilliantly achieved: the production, the design, the acting all work seamlessly in Loach's characteristic earthy (and often improvised) way, with more than a nod to George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. Where it most succeeds however is in emotionally grabbing you, consoling you, then wrestling you to the floor and kicking you in the guts as you move from idealistic passion to betrayal and heartbreak along the Orwellian nightmare that was the Spanish civil war. Brilliant.
October 21, 2009
l'histoire de ma famille
July 2, 2009
Moving war/drama about a naive, British communist who leaves for Spain in the spring of 1936 to fight the fascist's alongside the POUM militia. This is a very serious and mature affair that does not insult your Intelligence. It's also beautifully shot and the cast is very believable all around. Watch this one back to back with "The Wind That Shakes The Barley". Loach really depicts the horrors of civil war and armed conflict in general really well. This is without a doubt one of the strongest films of the 90s, and also Ken Loach's masterpiece. A beautiful film.
June 29, 2009
Ken Loach makes the case against privatization of resources and documents the idealism and energy of a revolutionary movement, in this Spanish Civil War drama as well as either reinvigorating or betraying the (neo) realist cinematic project (of an ocular modus operandi and temporal unity). Ian Hart plays David, an unemployed Liverpudlian who leaves the dole queue to join the anarchist CNT and POUM militia in their fight against general Francisco Franco's coup against a legitimately elected popular socialist government. As he acclimatizes to his new environment he learns the full horror of political division and the communist/Stalinist betrayal of the libertarian militia and this soon emerges as greater interest for Loach (and his screenwriter Jim Allen) than who won the war. How it was lost is the point of the film. It is essentially George Orwell's Homage To Catalunya on film and many of the scenes and themes are lifted directly from the book. The narrative is told in subjective flashbacks as David's granddaughter in the present reads his diaries and collected news clippings upon his death. The strategy of using a subjective investigation of another person's memories allows the film-makers to avoid the trappings and weight of historical forces for a more personal and affective diegesis, as well as providing a structure that is temporally unstable- which is unique in both realist cinema/s and Loach's own cannon. Essentially though it is a film that argues since the earth is inherited on a generational basis (as well as the struggle for social security and prosperity) private ownership is impossible and also criminal to deny future generations their birthright to share in the riches the world has to offer. There is no freedom without land, only peasants and slavery. It is also about learning to see and enunciate for one's self and as is common in Loach's work characters often exist as a synecdoche of broader realities and human relationship opposed to the "psychologically believable" characterization that plagues mainstream narrative cinema. Rarely has the humanism and pedagogy of the Left been so beautifully registered on celluloid.
May 20, 2009
Another reality check from Ken Loach.
May 10, 2009
Well done film about the battles inside the resistance. It presents really well the dichotomy of revolution after or before the victory.
April 17, 2009
The late Jim Allen's screenplay is superb.
April 11, 2009
No, it sucks. Boring and sucky.
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2009
Complex portrait of events which otherwise have had very little film coverage, beautifully capturing the idealism of the protagonists, their diverging beliefs and attitudes, and the ultimate logistical barriers and strife.
½ March 13, 2009
The role of the POUM is exaggerated (unsurprisingly given Loach's sympathies) and the CNT are unfairly portrayed at times, but ultimately this is a great film and definitely the best I've seen on the subject.
½ March 1, 2009
Similar (but superior to) Loach's film The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Land and Freedom is a deeply moving portrait of the death of a revolution. Loach intelligently explores the politics of the republican movement, as well as the naive idealism and infighting that brought it down, and the acting throughout is fantastic.
February 16, 2009
Best seen in conjunction with reading or having read an even-handed account of the Spanish Civil War (Antony Beevor's 'Battle for Spain' is an accessible account of a complex subject), 'Land & Freedom' powerfully evokes the betrayal of the Republican cause by the communists. Essential viewing for anyone interested in the subject.
½ January 25, 2009
Good depiction of foreign volunteers fighting for the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War
January 7, 2009
KEN LOACH, which I consider to be the greatest living filmmaker working today, creates films that delve into the conflicts of the Human Condition and Social Systems --- he's equally at home criticizing the Right or the Left for their demagogic diatribes and absence of logical actions. If Cinema with a Political Foundation scares you, don't even attempt to tackle him. However, if your mind's open enough his films may just be an epiphany.
January 4, 2009
An excellent film about idealism and faith in action. Has the same atmosphere of frustration about the Spanish Civil War as Orwell's Homage to Catalonia.
December 10, 2008
no thanks not my kinda thing
Page 2 of 14