Monday 11 February 2013

The Happy Lands opens at Glasgow’s Film Festival

Following the success of the ‘Red thread’ running through the Celtic connections festival this year (see my article in the Morning Star here) , producers of a number of films and other events are hoping that this interest and involvement in things cultural, is no one-off!

Film Poster for The Happy Lands
First out of the blocks is an important film getting its public premiere as part of Glasgow’s Film Festival. The Happy Lands, is a production by theatre workshop, an edinburgh-based theatre company, and tells the story of the General Strike and the subsequent lock-out of the miners, and how that affected a community in Fife.

Theatre workshop spent four years working with 1,000 volunteers from the Fife community, many of whom had family connections with the miners on strike. Many of the volunteers ended up starring in the film. 

Although it deals with three families in a specific mining village in Fife in 1926, the film has both universal appeal, and lessons for today. The film deals with questions of loyalty, honour, love and trust as these are put under huge strain by the strike. Set at a time when a Conservative-Liberal pact meant slashing of wages and rights for the worst off in our society, the film clearly has messages that resonate in similar circumstances today.

The first public showing of the film is at the GFT on Sunday 17 February at 13.40. If you can’t make that, in an interesting development, the film will be screened again at the Clydebank Empire on Monday 18 February at 11.00. See a trailer here, and get tickets for the film festival showings here. The tickets for the Clydebank Empire showing are a flat £4.50.

The film will then go on a UK roadshow tour to (among other places) Blantyre (1 March), Inverness (10 March) and down South to Durham, Sheffield and Wakefield. Check the website for more details. We hope to welcome it back to Glasgow for the MayDay celebrations!

An Drochaid- The Bridge Rising
The Skye Bridge

Another recently made film shown on BBC Alba in early January, is the Media Co-Op’s documentary of the campaign against the tolls on an early Tory PFI project in Scotland - the Skye Bridge. An Drochaid - the bridge rising, deals with the history of the non-payment campaign.  “An untold, bittersweet story of passion, ego, and financial skullduggery, through the testimony of those who took part. - as the Media Co-op website says! 

It is currently being edited for general release. Hopefully it won’t be too long until another important fight by people against the financial exploitation of governments and big business is properly documented. See a trailer here!

MayDay plans
Events are beginning to emerge for Glasgow’s MayDay celebrations too! Watch this space for more news soon! Or check the Friends of MayDay site. If you have some event around MayDay and want to see it in the programme, why not let me know? or @chrisbartter on twitter will find me!

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