Director Ken Loach’s latest film The Spirit of ’45 is an impassioned documentary about how the spirit of unity which buoyed Britain during the war years carried through to create a vision of a fairer, united society. Set for general release on 15 March, there will be a special one off nationwide satellite screening event on Sunday 17March followed by a Q&A panel discussion with Ken Loach.
“The achievements of the ’45 Labour government have largely been written out of our history. From near economic collapse we took leading industries into public ownership and established the Welfare State. Generosity, mutual support and co-operation were the watch words of the age. It is time to remember the determination of those who were intent on building a better world.”
– Ken Loach
The Spirit of ’45 theatrical release will be supported by a special interactive project in collaboration with the filmmakers and commissioned by the BFI, Film 4.0, and Creative England who have all been exploring and spearheading innovative ways to support releases by creatively using digital technologies.
The Spirit of ’45 vividly illustrates the optimism of a nation and how a new, fairer state was created from the rubble of war. Using film resourced from Britain’s regional and national archives, alongside sound recordings and contemporary interviews from the people who lived through the years of change including Tony Benn, Loach creates a rich political and social narrative of the years directly following WWII that would pave the way for the creation of a new state where the character of the times was to be our brother’s and our sister’s keeper.
After defeating fascism, the people of Britain sought a more equal society where the elites didn’t control all the resources and where the working classes had access to healthcare, housing, and social care. Under a newly elected Labour Government led by Clement Atlee and spearheaded by visionary Health Minister Aneurin “Nye” Bevan, a new Britain was created in a few short years.
The Spirit of ’45 hopes to illuminate and celebrate a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK, the impact of which endured for many years and which may yet be rediscovered today.