Land and Freedom

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  • Drama, Period, Realism, War , produced in 1995 UK, Spain, Germany, Italy
  • Actors: Ian Hart, Rosana Pastor
  • Directed by: Ken Loach
  • Rating: 7.4 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: Ian Hart stars as David Carr, an idealistic young member of the British Communist Party who decides to join the leftist forces fighting fascism in 1936 Spain in this drama from director Ken Loach. The story is told in long flashbacks framed by the perspective of Carr's granddaughter, who has found her recently deceased grandfather's diaries that detail his wartime experiences. Arriving in Catalonia, Carr finds his leftist splinter group, POUM, carrying outmoded weapons and sadly lacking in supplies. After tasting his first moments of combat and seeing a priest executed, Carr's enthusiasm begins to wane; at length he begins to understand the vast chasm between the "latifundistas" (the landed gentry), and the "braceros" (the landless peasants), which is the crux of the conflict. Despite engaging in a considerable amount of ideological debate over the issues that divide the forces of the left, Carr finds time to fall in love with Blanca (Rosana Pastor), an anarchist fighting alongside the men. A powerful depiction of a conflict rarely touched on by filmmakers, LAND AND FREEDOM includes a compelling analysis of the poisonous influence of Stalinism on the left, and offers a passionate and nuanced performance by Hart, memorable for his turn as John Lennon in THE HOURS AND THE TIMES.
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