Ken Loach’s Land and Freedom charts the experiences of idealistic, unemployed Liverpudlian, David Carne, who joins the fight against Fascism in the early days of the Spanish Civil War. Enmeshed in his own side’s political infighting, he learns the compromise and disillusionment of civil war.
About Land and Freedom
Bookended by scenes of David’s granddaughter discovering his journals and momentoes in contemporary Liverpool, Land and Freedom unfolds in flashback, finally coming back to the present at David’s funeral when his granddaughter throws a red kerchief filled with Spanish earth on to Carr’s grave.
With a great, humanist screenplay from the late screenwriter, Jim Allen, Land and Freedom is the first of three films that Loach makes in the late 1990s which focus on issues of international socialism and divisions with in the left. It was a contender for the prestigious Palme d’Or and winner of the Ecumenical Prize at the Cannes Film Festival 1995, as well as winner of the European Best Film Award (1995). The film boasts a subtle, moving central performance from Ian Hart, as the working class boy from Manchester who finds himself mired in the increasingly compromised battle for Spain’s socialist future as the guerrilla fighters of POM find themselves pitted against both Stalin and Franco.
For me, this film is one of three key works about the Spanish Civil War. The others are Picasso’s Guernica and George Orwell’s 1938 memoir, Homage to CataloniaPeter Bradshaw
Kino Klassika proudly presents Land and Freedom on a 35mm print, kindly loaned with the support of The Works. The screening will be introduced by the Guardian’s chief film critic, Peter Bradshaw. Kino Klassika is delighted to announce that Peter Bradshaw hosts a conversation with the double Palme d’Or winning film director, Ken Loach after the screening.
Ken Loach was born in 1936 in Nuneaton. He attended King Edward VI Grammar School and went on to study law at St. Peter’s Hall, Oxford. After a brief spell in the theatre, Loach was recruited by the BBC in 1963 as a television director. This launched a long career directing films for television and the cinema, from Cathy Come Home and Kes in the sixties to Land And Freedom, Sweet Sixteen, The Wind That Shakes The Barley (Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2006), Looking for Eric, The Angels’ Share and I, Daniel Blake (Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2016).