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‘Intelligent and highly watchable’: Sight and Sound

May 31, 2011 News, Reviews No Comments

East End Film Festival
London, UK
May 2011
Frances Morgan

Emma-Louise Williams’ Under the Cranes, which premiered to a capacity audience at Dalston’s Rio Cinema, featured the work of [a] long-time resident, Michael Rosen, whose documentary play Hackney Voices steered this engaging, gentle, slightly dreamlike documentary… Rosen also appears in Michael Chanan’s Chronicle of Protest, extolling the revolutionary potential of Shakespeare. Co-produced by the New Statesman and Roehampton University, Chronicle of Protest’s freshness and urgency – the most recent footage, of the 26 March TUC demo, is only a month old – is perhaps a necessary counterweight to the archival feel in evidence elsewhere. Activist video, news footage and interviews are edited into chapters including December 2010’s student occupations, campaigns against library closures and the actions of UK Uncut; commendably, Chanan gives space not only to London protest footage but also to a lecturers’ strike in Bristol.

The recent wave of protest at government policy has sometimes been couched in simplistic terms of the young versus the old, but this intelligent and highly watchable film suggests a continuum of protest, as veterans like Terry Eagleton appear alongside a new generation of technology-savvy activists. Its screening in the East End, an area that has harboured chartists, suffragettes, anti-racist campaigners and many other oppositional groups, strikes a challenging note.

full review here

 

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