During this year’s New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival, film and television director Ken Loach gave a speech after a screening of his documentary The Spirit of ’45 at New Cross Learning.
The filmmaker said 1945 was an extraordinary moment and a high point in British achievement, with the Labour Party’s election victory leading the working class to a vision of a better society.
Mr Loach’s documentary looks at how the water, gas, railways and docks were nationalized after 1945 and argued there had since been a move from “public good to private greed” .
He said he hoped to illuminate and celebrate 1945 as a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK.
“Together we are brilliant, together we are a team, individually we are nothing”, he stated.
He also spoke of the decline in public services, highlighting Royal Mail’s privatization, pointing to a movement towards price rather than principle.
Mr Loach went on to voice his opinion that shortages in the Health Service were giving us one of the worst records of child mortality in the developed world due to government cuts to the NHS.
During the Question and Answer section of the evening, the director linked the local success of the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign with the spirit of 1945, arguing that united power leads people to live a better life. The message he left with his fans at the Lewisham Film Festival was:
“What we can do together is strong. We take care of each other. If you think people here can keep the hospital open and keep the library going, all these campaigns up and down the country, we got together so people will be unstoppable.”
The New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival continues in intimate venues across the borough until Sunday 4th May.