Comrades (1986)

  |  Drama, History

Comrades (1986) Poster

The story of "The Tolpuddle Martyrs". A group of 19th century English farm labourers who formed one of the first trade unions and started a campaign to receive fair wages.



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26 February 2017 | kekseksa
Oh dear, what a mess!
I am extremely sorry to join the chorus of disapproval of this film but anyone coming to this after seeing Douglas' superb trilogy of autobiographical films made in the seventies is bound to be disappointed. It is not a problem necessarily of the length (Peter Watkins' superb 2000 French television film about the Paris Commune is far longer) but an almost complete lack of decision over what kind of film is being made. The attempt to combine a Ken Loach style with a glossy Merchant-Ivory treatment does not work at all and the use of "star cameos" is also a grave error of judgement, resulting in flamboyant but anachronistic acting styles and a mish-mash of caricatural rural accents. The films has absolutely nothing of the authenticity of the "trilogy".

The large cast is poorly handled, the pacing is dreadful and the narrative often simply incoherent. Nor is the "thesis" of the film sufficiently clear for it to work as agit-prop.

For the best of Doougls, one must return to the trilogy while for really good historical agit-prop docufiction, Peter Watkins remains unequalled.

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