Kino Eye: Days of Hope

Submitted by AWL on 27 April, 2021 - 6:37 Author: John Cunningham
Days of Hope

As far as I know there is no film about the events around Black Friday in 1921 (see Solidarity 588) but Episode Two of Ken Loach’s four-part TV drama Days of Hope — covering the period from the First World War to the 1926 General Strike — admirably fills the gap. It was broadcast by the BBC in 1975, with a script by long-time Loach collaborator Jim Allen. It sees Ben (Paul Copley), a British soldier, desert the army after serving in Ireland. He befriends a group of Durham miners who are locked out for refusing to accept a pay cut. The miners receive food aid from fellow workers around the country and hold firm despite the continued lockout. In a meeting with the mine-owner, they threaten to blow up the mine if their demands are not met but in the middle of the night Ben and the miners’ leaders are arrested. In the next episode, on their release from prison, Ben and a group of miners join the newly formed Communist Party. Days of Hope is available with many other Loach productions on a DVD box set released by the British Film Institute.

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