"The Battle of Orgreave" - Radical Film Series

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JimN's picture
Joined: 5-06-09
Jan 23 2011 12:33
"The Battle of Orgreave" - Radical Film Series

With introduction by Adam Buick

"The Battle of Orgreave is a re-enactment of one of the most violent confrontations of the 1984/5 miners strike, when police mounted a cavalry charge through the mining village of Orgreave in South Yorkshire.

It was conceived by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller and produced by Artangel in 2001. The event was documented by acclaimed film-maker Mike Figgis.

Figgis's film include footage of the re-enacted clashes, archive material from the original event and interviews with Jeremy Deller; Tony Benn; Mac McLoughlin, a former miner and polieman who served during the strike; Dave Douglass of The National Union of Mineworkers and Stephanie Gregory of The Womens' Support Group."

Sunday 30th January 6pm

Socialist Party of Great Britain
52 Clapham High Street

All welcome.

Entry is free. There will be a discussion period. Free refreshments.

Nearest tube: Clapham North

Details of this and all our meetings can be found here:

Still to come in the series:

Sunday 13th February 6pm - "They Live"

Sunday 27th February 6pm "The People Speak"

Joined: 9-06-09
Jan 23 2011 15:31
The desire to finally live history and no longer merely consume it has been too long repressed.
"How long does the battle last?" I asked. "It starts at 12.30 and ends at 3.30, but there's an interval for lunch at 1.30," replied the woman with the Coal Not Dole badge. We all laughed nervously.' (Guardian, 21/6/01.)
A pathetic parody of this repressed desire was recently played out on the 15th anniversary of perhaps the bloodiest picket line conflict of the Miners Strike; the Battle of Orgreave was re-enacted near to the original site. Filmed for Channel 4 TV by a Hollywood director, and with ex-pickets and cops from the original battle as extras (but 'real' actors playing the 'heroes' of the event such as Arthur Scargill - typically bourgeois history as the history of leaders), the event was painstakingly reconstructed from media footage of the time. As always, once the event is safely far enough in the past, the media that acted in its own class interests by lying and distorting the truth in the real time of the class struggle, feels confident enough to now reveal a somewhat more truthful version of events; now that it no longer has any consequences. This is a sure sign of the ruling class's confidence that these are dead issues, definitively resolved in their favour. They want us to believe that class struggle is a thing of the past. Again, the colonisation process at work; get the defeated to dramatise their defeat as entertainment for the victors. Despite a bit of temporary flattering attention and extra pocket money for the locals, who really gains from this farce? No one but the ruling class and their media. The claims that the event was therapeutic (or "healing") for some are predictable - but what does it help them come to terms with? Only the acceptance of their defeat and all its consequences since.

From here. (originally pubd. Nov. 2001)