Movie Review: Land and Freedom (1995), Ken Loach

Of the very few English language films on the Spanish Civil War that there are, Ken Loach’s Land and Freedom is one of the better ones for the portrait if paints of the spirit of those long lost times. For new-comers to the subject of the Civil War, the film is a great introductory dramatisation of the both the war itself and the war within the war, that is, the ideological, political and, ultimately, military conflict between the various factions, parties, militias, armies and governments of the Republican resistance. Continue reading “Movie Review: Land and Freedom (1995), Ken Loach”

Blood Behind the Walls of Montjuic and Castelldefels

bThe story of two old castles sitting above and beyond Barcelona is one of gaolers becoming the gaoled, and the gaoled becoming the gaolers.  The guns that look down on Barcelona from Montjuic mountain were used not so long ago for keeping the millions below in-step and in-line with the orders of the day, but today you can take a stroll up to the fortress and instead of hearing the barking of military men you’ll her the laughter of children climbing all over the artillery as if they were always as harmless as the plastic cannons they play with at home. Continue reading “Blood Behind the Walls of Montjuic and Castelldefels”

Comrade Gough

Over the past week so much has been said of Gough Whitlam’s tumultuous life, and so many fine words have given voice to all the silent tears of those whose lives he radically changed. There is not much more to be said of the man himself, least of all from someone who was born nearly 20 years after his sacking, but there is, I think, a lot we can take from his brief time in office that is relevant to the situation we face today. Continue reading “Comrade Gough”

National Day of Catalonia

The mood in Barcelona today can be summed up in the scene just ahead of me; a group of boys and girls are standing above a Plaza de Catalunya metro station air vent, they are throwing their hats into the air tunnel created by the vent, they hold Catalan flags above their heads while posing for photos; the red, yellow and blue colours of Catalan independence waving in the sunlight. This is Barcelona today; young, hopeful and free Continue reading “National Day of Catalonia”

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