The Spirit of '45 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spirit of '45 Reviews

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May 14, 2016
Have you ever been sat down with an elderly relative, been on a school trip to the local old-peoples home, or just had to listen to a tramp lecturing you at a bus stop about how things used to be different in their day? Were you fascinated by the fact that they had to share an outdoor bog with the 17 family members who all lived in a single room the size of a cupboard? if so, then this is the film for you. Ken Loach once again takes the opportunity to bang on about his politics and how the government is full of selfish crooks in disguise, in case you forgot.
March 14, 2016
Well-made documentary on an extraordinary time we should always remember. A lot of people have called this one-sided but really, isn't that the whole point of a polemical film?
April 4, 2015
Great documentary on the British Labour Party election of 1945 where the people voted in a social democratic government which nationalized healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and other public services. While definitely more propaganda than a critical or analytical documentary, Ken Loach documents the accounts of ordinary people who saw in that government the vision of a democratic and socialist society.
March 2, 2014
Interesting, thought provoking and timely look at how and why the welfare state and nationalisation of major industries took shape and how and why they have been undone over the last 35 years and at what cost.
While I was watching it occurred to me that if there was 30+ years between WW2 and Thatcher, time enough for people to forget what it was like before, there has now been just as long since Thatcher came to power.
This isn't on a list of the most essential films in history but is a very good film to watch and consider where the world sits today.
February 16, 2014
Just amazing, if you watch one political documentary this year make it this one.
January 5, 2014
De nuevo Loach logra una denuncia impecable. Muestra como la Bretaña de post guerra estaba destruida y como, gracias a los laboristas, se pudieron rearmar y volver a invadir a medio mundo para luego caer en las manos de Margaret Hilda Thatcher y como los "tories" se han encargado de destruir la isla privatizando casi hasta el aire. Pensar que en 1945 los ingleses estaban igual que nosotros pero se pudieron unir y lograr lo una vida digna mientras que acá llevamos mas de cien años así y cuando tratamos de unirnos los grupos de poder (familias políticas) nos dan machete, después plomo y ahora procurador.
January 5, 2014
De nuevo Loach logra una denuncia impecable. Muestra como la Bretaña de post guerra estaba destruida y como, gracias a los laboristas, se pudieron rearmar y volver a invadir a medio mundo para luego caer en las manos de Margaret Hilda Thatcher y como los "tories" se han encargado de destruir la isla privatizando casi hasta el aire. Pensar que en 1945 los ingleses estaban igual que nosotros pero se pudieron unir y lograr lo una vida digna mientras que acá llevamos mas de cien años así y cuando tratamos de unirnos los grupos de poder (familias políticas) nos dan machete, después plomo y ahora procurador.
November 21, 2013
The news according to Ken. A fascinating history lesson: what Attlee brought to the nation and Thatcher gave back to the ruling class. Uplifting to see how '45 played out and dispiriting to have Thatcher's legacy laid bare. The rise and the erosion of the NHS is also under scrutiny. Some very persuasive voices are given screen time.
November 3, 2013
Ken Loach's documentary is a beautifully crafted and moving polemic charting the rise of the post-war British welfare state and its erosion during the Thatcher years and since. Highly partisan as you would expect from this leftist director, and perhaps a tad simplistic in its analysis, this remains an accomplished bit of film making.
October 5, 2013
It could seem surprising, that Churchill lost the British elections in 1945. Were people simply ungrateful? The loss for the conservatives had two reasons, according to Ken Loach. The memories of powerty after WW1 and the fact that if the state was capable of organizing the whole society into winning a war, why couldn't it also win the peace?

So Britain got nationalisation of the coal mines, the energy industry, the railroads and not at least healthcare. Only that last reform has so far been unattacked by neobiberals, although a part of the railroads was taken back in 2002. The alternative was bankrupcy.

We get many interviews with those who remember these days of prime minister Clement Attlee and his main social architect mr. Bevan. They also remember what it was before, with five children in one bed full of lice, two children dying the same week, the conditions in the coal mines and the mother who couldn't afford one pint of blood after giving birth to her tenth child. Her son asked God to give him his mother back, but since God didn't do that, this man is from then on an atheist.

What one lacks is en explanation of how it all was financed and one would also like to know why Churchill came back in 1951, followed by tory pms like Eden, Macmillan and Douglas-Home. They seemed to have approved the Attlee ideas or what? Anyway, another way of society was possible. Not just in Britain but in all of Western Europe.
October 4, 2013
Loach never fails to deliver. Brilliant documentary. Britain is going to pot again, we need some of that spirit now, where is it?
September 14, 2013
Made me feel miserable for a week. That doesn't sound like much of a recommendation but this isn't a good news sort of doc.
August 31, 2013
The most important film you'll see this year. You owe it to yourself and your children and their children to watch this film and ensure that this dream stays alive. Listen to the words from the past and look at the what the politician are doing today.

Don't let history repeat itself.
½ August 6, 2013
Directed by Ken Loach, whose background has always been documentaries, he takes on this documentary about when Labour came to power after the war, and helped a country stricken by war and poverty get back on their feet. It does try to present politics as art, and it does dive into criticisms about how things went wrong in later years, but it is a very informative film for the most part. Using old newsreel footage and interview clips of those who lived throughout those years, this tells how Clement Attlee's Labour Government in 1945 won a landslide election, and set about reforming the country, brought down by the Depression of the 1930's and the eventual war. The Labour Government set about changing the UK for the better, bringing in the National Health Service, so that people wouldn't have to pay for health treatment ever again, and reforming industries and giving people fair pay. But it all went wrong in the 1980's, when Thatcher's Conservative Government took away most of the reforms put in place after the way. It is politically biased, and it does have a touch of Michael Moore about it's bones, but it does show where this country went wrong and how we can learn from past mistakes, but the documentary makes out that the Tory Scum are responsible for our mess, which sadly, is very true indeed.
½ July 28, 2013
A social document that provides a useful reminder of why industry was nationalised and the NHS was set up in the first place.
½ July 25, 2013
A lively debate on social democracy ensued.
½ July 11, 2013
Ken Loach's 'The Spirit of '45' is not a documentary but a nostalgic, sentimental history lesson that dreams for a socialist Britain.
½ July 3, 2013
Ken Loach's 'The Spirit of '45' is not a documentary but a nostalgic, sentimental history lesson that dreams for a socialist Britain.
July 2, 2013
Includes some interesting archive footage throughout, it is a sympathetic story of mid-20th century socialist ideology and how it is has been dismantled for the worse.
June 30, 2013
Sentimental Loach, but whatever your political persuasion; the depiction of the 1930s slums is a World none of us want to return to.
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