Review: Still The Enemy Within

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Thirty years ago, Thatcher went to war. These are the miners who fought back.’

Still The Enemy Within is an evocative and interesting documentary. Directed by Owen Gower, the film delves into the true stories of those involved in the longest strike in UK history, the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike.  Through first-hand accounts and personal interviews, Still The Enemy Within brings to life the struggles of those at the heart of this movement.

This film is not a dark, heavy piece, however. While it does deal with emotional depictions of the reality of the times, the film is an inspirational piece that highlights the way the strike brought together communities from across the United Kingdom to join forces in the name of solidarity.

I am ashamed to admit that I knew little about the details of the miners’ strike – what I knew, I knew from Billy Elliot! Still The Enemy Within gave me an in depth education on the history and politics behind the strikes, without being overbearing or tedious. It tells an integral part of this country’s history and, having seen it, I genuinely feel much better informed about the history of the country I grew up in.

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I also found it powerful that a subject I had no emotional connection to could be portrayed in such a way as to evoke physical emotion in me; this highlights the raw, emotional power of the documentary. Whether you think you know all there is to know about the strikes or if you are little informed of this aspect of the UK’s history, this documentary will engage and inform you in an interesting and evocative way.

While the film deals with a subject that is rooted in political issues and the tough work and struggles of the miners, the film itself is edited in a bright and attractive way. This allows it to be suitable for any audience and can be viewed as an educational or social tool highlighting the importance of social reform and the coming-together of rallying support.

This film should be seen by all those seeking a more rounded view of our country’s history, for it was an event that cannot be ignored in the shaping of our country today. Still The Enemy Within is in cinemas from 3rd October. For a full list of showings and ticket information, please visit http://the-enemy-within.org.uk.

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