Watch..Even the Rain (2011) Written by Paul Laverty,who has written most of Ken Loachs’ films, and immediately you know that you are going to learn something and be challenged about our understanding of history. A Spanish film company arrives in Bolivia to make a film about Columbus and his relationship with the indigenous people of the Americas. Like Columbus and the Spanish monarchy, they have chosen Bolivia because of its cheap and abundant labour. At the same time as the film company is shooting scenes showing the indigenous people fighting the invading Spanish we see a modern day battle start as the Government has privatised the water supply and the local people take to the streets. This really happened in Bolivia and eventually the Government fell and was replaced by socialist and trade union leader Evo Morales. At a time when Europe is facing economic meltdown it is good to see a film showing people winning victories against the State and multi-nationals. Laverty’s films also give us hope, that people can change and take the side of the oppressed, which is another aspect to this film. Because this was made by a Spanish company it was only given limited release in this country so it is over to the DVD rental shop/internet company if you want to get hold of it.
Go to…the 2nd Wigan Diggers Festival Sept 8. Gerrard Winstanley,leader of the Diggers or True Levellers was born in Wigan The Diggers were one of the first egalitarian political movements to represent the poor and those without property, and also argued for the equality of men and women.The Festival has been organised by a variety of groups on the Left plus the Labour Party. Lots of different activities including a digging re-enactment and tree planting ceremony, a showing of the 1975 film “Winstanley”, a parade around the town and a mass singsong.
See my article
Listen to…The World Turned Upside Down, written by Leon Rosselson, his anthem to the Diggers. Bettered, I have to say, by Billy Bragg’s version in 1985 but make your own mind up. You can watch Leon here and Billy here.
Explore…Salford’s Radical history on Saturday 8 September at 11am starting at the Black Lion, 63 Chapel Street, Salford. This walk will explore Salford’s radical history including the Flat Iron Market, the General Strike of 1842, vegetarian Christians, Votes for Women and the disturbances in Bexley Square in 1931.
Fee £6 (£5 concessions). Further details here
Starting next week my series on Political Women. I interview women who are active in left politics including feminism, trade unions, social movements etc. What made them become involved and what keeps them challenging the state? Why do they think younger women should follow in their footsteps?