Land and Freedom (1995)

Ian Hart stars as a Liverpool Communist Party member who joins the republicans to fight Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
“This is not just a movie which simply fills us in on fascinating historical details; thanks to muscular performances (especially from Ian Hart), it also packs an emotional punch.” Land and Freedom, though set during the Spanish Civil War (1936–9), has much to say about Britain in the 1980s and 90s. Ken Loach, a committed socialist director, draws parallels between the triumph of fascism in Spain and the rise of the far right amid the widespread unemployment at the time the film was made. Ian Hart plays Dave, a young Liverpudlian man who joins the International Brigades to fight fascism in Spain, where he falls in love with Blanca, a Marxist ideologue. The Spanish Civil War had long fascinated Loach who, like screenwriter Jim Allen, saw how close the fighters had come to achieving a socialist revolution. The film won two awards at the Cannes film festival and remains one of his most acclaimed. Left-wing writer Jim Allen collaborated with Ken Loach on many films and TV dramas during his career, including The Big Flame (1969), Days of Hope (1975) and Raining Stones (1993).
1995 United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Italy, France
Directed by
Ken Loach
Produced by
Rebecca O'Brien
Written by
Jim Allen
Ian Hart, Rosana Pastor, Icíar Bollaín
Running time
109 minutes