LAND AND FREEDOM Add To My Top 10

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Release Date: March 15, 1996

Starring: Ian Hart, Rosana Pastor, Iciar Bollain, Tom Gilroy, & Marc Martinez

Genre: Historical Drama

Audience:

Rating:

Runtime: 109 minutes

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Content:

(H, RH, Ab, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, D, M) Humanist, revisionist history worldviews involving Communism, Socialism & Fascism; 28 obscenities, 19 vulgarities & 6 profanities; violence in battle scenes including shooting of women hostages, execution of priest & the burning of church symbols, man shot in arm, & woman shot in the back; 1 implied sexual situation, infidelity to fiancee & a reference to sex in conversation; partial nudity of woman taking shower & woman undressing man; smoking; and, betrayal

Summary:

In LAND AND FREEDOM, a young Communist from Liverpool, England, joins the international militia in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. He finds harsh realities and disillusionments in the course of the battles. In this epic production handled with powerful documentary realism including images of the depravity of war, director Ken Loach's pro-Socialist leanings are always apparent, and the film's ideology makes fickled man rather than a loving God, the measure of all things.

Review:

Director Ken Loach's epic production of LAND AND FREEDOM takes place during the 1936 Spanish Civil War. A young Communist from Liverpool, England, named David, travels to Spain to join in the fight against Franco. On the way, he is introduced to the Worker's Party of Marxist Unification or POUM. Fighting in trenches with antiquated weapons, David and other members of the POUM's international militia are subjected to weather and shortage of supplies. When injured, the militia's feisty Blanca takes him to Barcelona. There, David joins the Communist Party, but he grows disillusioned and returns to the POUM, only to find his biggest betrayal.

The film mirrors the director's political leanings. The film's mood is always ideological. LAND AND FREEDOM is an emotional portrayal of the revolution played out through human drama, but there are cautionary elements. Humanism provides the overarching worldview with Communism and Socialism as the overriding themes. There is irreverence for religion and anti-Christian bigotry. LAND AND FREEDOM is a well-executed, revisionist, historical drama, but it has a tendency to be a mouthpiece for the director, and makes fickled man, not a loving God, the measure of all things.

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