Land and Freedom (1995)

Land and Freedom (1995)

A sober and dignified account of Marxist fighters in the Spanish Civil War

7.0

Movie

France, Germany
Catalan, English, Spanish
Drama, History, Romance, War
1995
KEN LOACH
Angela Clarke, Eoin McCarthy, Francesc Orella
109 min

What it's about

David Carr is a British Communist who is unemployed. In 1936, when the Spanish Civil War begins, he decides to fight for the Republican side, a coalition of liberals, communists and anarchists, so he joins the POUM militia and witnesses firsthand the betrayal of the Spanish revolution by Stalin's followers and Moscow's orders.

The take

Stereotypically made to look like one-note villains in many other films, the kinds of characters who lead Land and Freedom are rightfully depicted as people acting out of a desire for something constructive and good. Through director Ken Loach's trademark approach to no-frills storytelling, the complex ideologies motivating each of these factions against the common enemy (and against each other) are laid out with crystal clarity. In fact, the most exciting confrontations in the film aren't the skirmishes between the fascists and the revolutionary militias, but the debates held between allies, as they figure out the next best steps forward for every liberated person involved.

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