augustus 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm Plaats een reactie

De Engelse tv- en vooral filmmaker Ken Loach is op zijn 75ste zo mogelijk nog cassanter en militanter dan ooit. Geïnterviewd door The Guardian geeft hij onomwonden zijn visie op de jongste ‘rellen’ in het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Marxistische analyse toe. ‘We moeten niet rouwen maar ons organiseren.’

Ken Loach werd bekend als sociaal en later ook socialistisch filmer, maker van zeer geëngageerde docudrama’s als ‘Kess’ (1969), ‘Land and Freedom’ (1995, over de Spaanse burgeroorlog), ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’ (2006) dat een Gouden Palm in Cannes kreeg, tot zijn jongste meesterwerk ‘Route Irish’.

In 1971 draaide hij in opdracht van het Save the Children Fund een uniek document over kinderleed all over the world. Er was kritiek in vervat op de bestaande aanpak, of het gebrek eraan, en dat zinde de opdrachtgever niet. Die wilde het negatief laten vernietigen, wat gelukkig niet is gebeurd. Binnenkort wordt de film, 40 jaar later, alsnog vertoond op de Britse televisie. Ook een film van hem over de Britse mijnwerkers werd door Channel 4 achterover gedrukt en het publiek onthouden.

Ken Loach is onkreukbaar, ook omdat hij niets te verliezen heeft. Hij kreeg alle bakken met ongenoegen al jaren over zich heen. Ook het hoogste kreeg hij aangeboden, de OBE, Order of the British Empire. Hij weigerde, met de woorden: ‘Dat lintje staat voor alles wat ik verwerpelijk vind: paternalisme, het hoofd buigen voor de monarchie en het Britse Rijk, die een monument van uitbuiting en roofzucht zijn.’
Mede daarom is Loach’ oordeel over Engeland en de wereld op zijn minst het overwegen waard. Om niet meer te zeggen. (jc)


I mention the two young men put away for four years each, after trying to provoke rioting through their Facebook pages. Loach notes, with a shrug, that their cases will probably go to appeal, then adds: “It’s the ruling class cracking the whip, isn’t it? It’s disgusting. We’ve got to organise. In the words of the old American trade unionist Joe Hill: don’t mourn, organise.”

He continues, apologising occasionally for “lecturing” me. “I think the underlying factors regarding the riots are plain for anyone with eyes to see … It seems to me any economic structure that could give young people a future has been destroyed. Traditionally young people would be drawn into the world of work, and into groups of adults who would send the boys for a lefthanded screwdriver, or a pot of elbow grease, and so they’d be sent up in that way, but they would also learn about responsibilities, and learn a trade, and be defined by their skills. Well, they destroyed that. Thatcher destroyed that. She consciously destroyed the workforces in places like the railways, for example, and the mines, and the steelworks … so that transition from adolescence to adulthood was destroyed, consciously, and knowingly.

“I don’t recall the nihilism among kids now, 40 or 50 years ago,” he says. “Now there is no place for kids, period. So I think despite the material advances, we’re worse off.” We also don’t seem to have a political class that understands, on any level, what it’s like to face unemployment. “No, the Bullingdon boys have never had to confront that,” says Loach. “The Bullingdon boys will wreck restaurants and …” he pauses. “Just throw some money at it?” I say. “Yes, or their parents will throw money at it.”

I ask whether he aims to provoke political change with his films, and he says he hopes they make people “see things in a different way. That they see there were possibilities for change in Spain, for instance, and one of the things that destroyed it was sectarianism on the left. That you can organise trade unions, we do have strength, things can be different, and here are stories from the past that show it.”

It’s difficult to imagine young people risking their lives for leftwing ideals now as they once did in Spain though, isn’t it? Loach disagrees. “You get the international volunteers who go and put themselves in Gaza … Those are the sort of people who would have gone to Spain. People will resist, and they will fight back, and they do feel solidarity.”

Does he think there’s a chance of a revolutionary moment in the UK, after the financial crisis, the MPs’ expenses scandal, the phone hacking revelations, and the exposure of the cosiness between the police and the Murdoch empire? “It just needs leadership,” he says. “It’s like a head of steam. The steam won’t drive anything unless there’s an engine, and somebody to stoke it, and to drive the wheels around.” The moment in recent history, he thinks, when a proper movement could have been launched, was at the march against the Iraq war in 2003.

“At the end there should have been a hundred tables, here’s a pen, give us your name, we’re anti-privatisation, anti-war you know – it’s Lenin’s bread, land and peace. If you sign up to that, you’ll be organised and it’ll be democratic and there will be no vain personalities trying to take it over, and we can articulate a programme and a movement that might become a party on that basis. There was a huge feeling across the country. None of the politicians spoke for us. That was the moment, but it was missed.”

Here is the whole interview:

Entry filed under: links, Media, Samenleving, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .


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