Brendan Funtek, a member of the Tacoma Film Club Producers’ Committee provides the following information about our upcoming screening:
Come see our Friday screening (specific details at bottom of email), Land and Freedom(1995), a film written by Jim Allen (Hidden Agenda) and directed by Ken Loach (Kes, The Wind That Shakes the Barley). The film was shot by cinematographer Barry Ackroyd (The Wind That Shakes the Barley, The Hurt Locker).
The film stars Ian Hart, Rosana Pastor, Iciar Bollain, Tom Gilroy, Marc Martinez and Frederic Pierrot.
“As self-contradictory as the concept of a “good war” has to sound, Spain in 1936 comes close to fitting the description. After fascist conservative forces led by Franco rose against an elected leftist government, believers from all over the world, including young novelists Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell, made their way to Spain to fight for democracy and progressive reform.” Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“Loach’s film charts the experiences of an unemployed young Liverpudlian (Hart) when he goes to join the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, and for the first half-hour or so it seems that Jim Allen’s script is going to be a sentimental celebration of fraternal unity among the good guys. Then, mercifully, things get more complex, as Hart’s confusion and divided loyalties mirror the in-fighting that plagued the Left and led to Franco’s victory. The film has its shortcomings – notably the didactic discussions on, for example, the ideology of collectivism – but Loach handles what is for him an unprecedentedly large canvas with aplomb. The action scenes in particular have a raw, plausible immediacy. Nor is this just a movie which simply fills us in on fascinating historical details; thanks to muscular performances (especially from Hart), it also packs an emotional punch.” Geoff Andrew, Time Out
“Land and Freedom, however, is a more complex portrait of an event which has inspired very little film coverage. Jim Allen’s script does more than suggest how disorganized the men who came to Spain in support of the Loyalists were, and how often they were greeted with either indifference or hostility by the Spanish citizenry. Dave Carr (Hart) is an idealist who simply assumes that fighting the good fight will unite him and his international company of comrades; instead he learns of deep divisions within the Loyalists on everything from battle tactics to political philosophy. By the conclusion of Land and Freedom, the viewer is better equipped to understand how internal strife, as much as lack of training and equipment, doomed the Loyalist cause, no matter how lofty its intentions.” Tom Wiener, AllMovie
“One moment the film is rushing headlong through an electrifying battle sequence, the next you’re trapped in Marxist Theory 301. It doesn’t work quite as well as perhaps Loach had hoped. Still, Hart is terrific as Loach’s protagonist, and Pastor, as David’s semi-romantic interest Blanca, is equally riveting. When the film is up and moving, Loach’s shots are tight and eclectic; the Spanish countryside has never looked so invigorating, and simultaneously, so sorrowful. A mixed bag, Land and Freedom tries harder than necessary to catch a stormy glimpse of Spain’s defining moment, and in doing so, blinks.” Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
Trivia: Loach used actual Spanish village residents to fill in the crowd for a large community debate scene and kept their improvised dialogue in the film.
Land and Freedom will be shown Friday at the Center for Spiritual Living (CSL), the church building we rent for our events. It is located at 206 North J Street, on the corner of Division & J streets.
Arrive as early as 6:30 pm and join us in the downstairs basement kitchen area for fun, fellowship & snacks. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages to share but please remember no food or drinks are allowed in the upstairs sanctuary.
The donation box is located at the sanctuary entrance. All collected funds go to pay the rent for the space and other club expenses. TFC Director Diane Jensen will have membership cards ($20 annually) for those who need or want one. Land and Freedom begins at 7:15 and lasts 106 minutes, so the curtain will come down around 9. See you at the movies!