Screening of 'Comrades' at St John on Bethnal Green
A Lanternist's Account of the Tolpuddle Martyrs
Dir. Bill Douglas *“A poetic and painterly work which was also a vigorous challenge to Thatcherism”
I've selected a film for Phantasmagloria Film events and will introducing be screening it on:
SATURDAY JULY 17th
8.00pm – 11.00pm
(Doors and Real Ale Bar open at 7.00)
Entrance £4 or £2concessions
Eight years in the making, released in 1987 and rarely screened since, 'Comrades' tells the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, six Dorset agricultural workers who, in 1834, were sentenced to transportation to Australia for forming a union protesting against unlivable cuts in their wages. The Martyrs cause was taken up by trade unions across the country, who mounted campaigns for their release. Against all odds, the Martyrs were pardoned. The victory became a symbol to a working-class movement of the power of working together to instigate changes in economic, social and political structures.
'Comrades' visual beauty is complimented by the narrative use of many early optical devises from Bill Douglas's own collection. These touch, in a variety of ways, on the history of pre-cinema and the political role that this visual media has played throughout history.
The wealthy and titled are played by well known actors of the day whilst the film's main working class characters are played by then unknowns.
**"We only have to love one another to know what we must do."
It is recommended that you bring a cushion as the pews can get rather hard during a three hour film!
St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Road - Tube: Bethnal Green
PhantasmaGloria is a community arts project of the church of St John on Bethnal Green; St John on Bethnal Green is a registered charity:
*Sheila RowBotham on Comrades re-release; **line from the film Comrades