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Land and Freedom [VHS]
Top Customer Reviews
"Land & Freedom" beautifully tells the story of an English communist worker, who like hundreds of other young men and women from around the world, goes to Spain to fight for his principles. Yet, his experiences there teaches him a bitter lesson in political reality: those seeking absolute power, regardless of what they call themselves, are the real enemies of freedom.
This film was clearly inspired by "Homage To Catalonia," George Orwell's chronicle of his own experiences in the Spanish Civil War. Like Orwell, the film's hero joins the militia of the POUM(Spain's anti-Stalinist Marxist-Leninist party)and comes to witness first-hand the betrayal of the anti-facist struggle by the Stalinist forces.
All in all, this is a well-researched and well-written story offered up with superb acting amd directing. It was especially poignant for me as I had the privilege of knowing folks who served in the militias of the CNT-FAI, the Spanish anarchist-syndicalist labor movement. This film brought to mind their sacrifice and heroism in the face of overwhelming odds.
"Land & Freedom" is a film everyone should see.
While the film's story is well-researched, written and presented, I think it loses viewers who are not familiar with the complex historical background of the Spanish Civil War nor the intricate ideological maze of the diverse political movements and points of view represented. "Land & Freedom" (which, by the way, was one of the slogans of the Spanish anarchist movement, the CNT-FAI, and not the Trotskyite POUM which the film's hero joins) tries to offer a comprehensive overview of the aforementioned. Unfortunately, it often comes across as a jumble of arcane acronyms and arguments.
One key point: the formation of the democratic peasant and workers collectives portrayed in the film actually took place under the auspices of the anarchist CNT-FAI (which, at the time, was the largest and most influential labor movement in Spain)and not the POUM. The Marxist POUM, while allied to the CNT-FAI, actually opposed this effort as detrimental to the creation a united anti-facist front.
This aside, "Land & Freedom" is great film. I highly recommended it.
Land and Freedom follows the story of Dave Hart, a working-class British Communist, who leaves his girlfriend to help stop fascism. Hart does not get assigned to the International Brigade (a Stalinist Communist militia), and ends up in a militia of foreign volunteers, loosely affiliated with the POUM, a non-Stalinist Marxist group. They fight alongside anarchists and anybody else who will oppose Franco. The unit votes on matters, officers are accorded no special privileges�-the traditional hierarchical structures are absent.
In this millieu, Dave writes home about the struggle, the frustration of being poorly armed, about comradery. We watch him falling in love with Blanca, one of the other soldiers. After he is wounded, he encounters the Stalinist brigades he had hoped to join. The movie begins to tell the story of how the democratic forces of the Spanish Republic were undermined and destroyed by the Stalinist elements.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excelent movie that shows a part of the hystory of the spanish civil war, unknown for most peoplePublished 7 months ago by alberto f.
The film leaves the viewer with an intimate understanding of what it was really like, usually something that only a good film can do.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
a period piece that is at once revealing and sad. it keeps one moving with the historical accuracy and in the middle of war, a love story equal to Hemingway.Published 22 months ago by aldo ray
I purchased the Land and Freedom DVD to replace by old VHS copy.
The DVD arrived on time and the film quality is better than my VHS copy. Read more
I missed the opportunity to see this movie in the 1990's, but I heard it was a "masterpiece". Read morePublished on April 2, 2013 by Margarita M. Asencio-López
This recording is of the soundtrack for "Land & Freedom. This movie is about the often overlooked but important Spanish Civil War. Read morePublished on August 6, 2012 by Howard E. Major Jr.
I can't add anything new or different to the reviews posted here. This is one of my favorite films, and I really admire Ken Loach's attempt to make a film about one young man and... Read morePublished on July 10, 2012 by Margaret L. Mcquaid
As Americans we have been fed a rather romantic line about the Spanish Civil War: the freedom loving country people resisting the evil Franco and his Fascist / Nazi thugs. Read morePublished on July 8, 2011 by Amazon Customer
While fiction, this story gives an historically accurate depiction of one aspect of the Spanish Civil War. The acting is excellent. Read morePublished on March 2, 2011 by ?
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