Still the Enemy Within, 2014.
Directed by Owen Gower.
Starring Norman Strike, Paul Symonds, Steve Hammill, Mike Jackson, Joe Henry and Jim Tierney.
A documentary detailing the events of the 1984-85 Miners strike, from the views of those on the picket lines.
Still the Enemy Within was the film I least expected to rank among my favourites of the year. The Miners’ strike has been detailed by all kinds of news outlets, media companies and articles but everything you look for is normally about the Union leadership notably Arthur Scargil, the Government and Maggie Thatcher. This film shows the stories and raw emotions of those who lived those times.
The film is stunning in its story telling. It goes through the events of the year, using a variety of interviews with the men and women who were hit hardest by the strike, black and white stills rendered into 3D beautifully, newscasts and video footage from the time and some reconstruction of the interviewee’s tales. It is edited in such a way that the story flows organically and never feels like the makers are trying to force a particular view or story upon you. This in itself is a major feat due to its unabashed bias to the miner’s point of view, with no government or other point of view put in.
The emotions of the interviewee’s carry the whole documentary. Their stories feel fresh as many of them haven’t been told before. Their feelings still run high talking about it now 30 years on. The anger and sadness in failing, the belief that what happened was not inevitable and the fact that they’d do it all the same again turns this from being a detailing of events into something that is amazing to behold on screen.
The highest praise I can pay this film is that it helped to widen my political view on what happened during that year and understand how it affected the entire political landscape even up to today. If you get a chance to see Still the Enemy Within in the cinema or on its continued tour of the UK, no matter what your political view, I implore you to not miss the opportunity.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film ★ ★ ★ ★ ★/ Movie ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Matt Spencer-Skeen – Follow me on Twitter