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directed by Various
UK 1984

 

Fight. Organise.

In 1984 a group of independent film and video makers decided to show their support for the miners' strike using the tools they had available: their cameras. On the picket lines, at the marches and in the soup kitchens, they recorded the testimonies of the striking miners, their wives and supporters, in a fight against anti-strike propaganda dominating the mainstream media.

A testament to solidarity and activism, the tapes tackle issues which continue to occupy us today: the right to demonstrate, police tactics, political double-speak, the role of the media. They are a crucial document of a cataclysmic episode of British history.

Excerpt of review from BFI located HERE

DVD Reviews

DVD Review: BFI - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution

BFI

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:30:07
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Illustrated booklet with essays by Chris Reeves of Platform Films (discussing the making and distribution of the tapes), David Peace (author of GB84 and the 'Red Riding' thrillers) and Julian Petley (

DVD Release Date: November 30th, 2009

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Comments

I was a child half a world away when the events depicted in the BFI's recently released "Miners' Campaign Tapes" took place. As a student of history, I was aware of the general picture of the radical changes that occurred in Thatcher's England, but I am still ignorant of most of the details. Watching the set of films filled in some of the particulars, when before all I had was a general impressions of rampant deregulation and union busting. As an educational tool, then, this set is invaluable. However, the films in this set also invoked a kind of melancholy in me. The world depicted here is gone. The strike failed. Thatcher's government won. As the British government lurches further and further to the right, the sort of protections that these workers were fighting for seem more and more a thing of the past.

Now, let’s talk about the disc itself. Perhaps the first thing that you’ll notice when looking at the caps is the relative low quality of the image. Don’t be deterred by this. The image, while weak, is the result of the original video that was used by the documentarians. Given the original source, this is the best that we could have hoped for. Moreover, the quality of these helps to encapsulate them as a real document from a specific time period. I, for one, have no complaints about the transfer. The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack works quite well, as I suspect that the aural aspects of the transfer have been significantly improved over the original video. The dialogue is always clear and some of the song used here really rock. The subtitles are consistently unobtrusive and always match what was said. Finally, the only real extra here to speak of is another one of the BFI’s illustrious booklets. Coming in at over 20 pages, the booklet contains essays by historians and a participant in the original filming. In many ways it’s as informative and rewarding as the films themselves.

For those interested in the politics of labor or the history of Thatcher’s UK, then this is the perfect release for you. From a historical standpoint, these films, while obviously one sided, are invaluable. Recommended.

 - Brian Montgomery

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

BFI

Region 2 - PAL


 




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