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  • Production
  • U
  • Documentary, History
  • 2013
  • 94 mins

The Spirit Of '45

Ken Loach's documentary about a pivotal year in British history.


1945 was a pivotal year in British history. Great changes in the post war social and political landscape redefined the way Britain was run. This documentary by Ken Loach is about the spirit of that era.


1945 was a pivotal year in British history. The unity that carried Britain through the war allied to the bitter memories of the inter-war years led to a vision of a better society. The spirit of the age was to be our brother's and our sister's keeper.

Director Ken Loach has used film from Britain's regional and national archives, alongside sound recordings and contemporary interviews to create a rich political and social narrative. The Spirit Of '45 hopes to illuminate and celebrate a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK, the impact of which endured for many years and which may yet be rediscovered today.

DVD out now

The Spirit Of ’45 is available to buy on DVD from Dogwoof now. It’s a bit of a special release – as well as the film itself, which Time Out’s Dave Calhoun calls “powerful, rousing and saddening”, you’ll get a second disc featuring over seven hours of extras, an interview with Ken Loach and Ken Loach’s 53 minute documentary Which Side Are You On? from 1985. Click here to find out more about this DVD.

The two disc edition includes:

- 22 extended interviews with all contributors to the film including all new material
- Interview with Ken Loach
- Ken Loach short film: Which Side Are You On?
- Audio Description option for the blind or partially sighted
- English HOH subtitles
- UK Trailer

Press reactions

Dave Calhoun, TimeOut

“Always apparent is [Loach’s] clear thesis and the infectious commitment and fervour of his interviewees. The film works all at once as a lament, a celebration and a wake-up call to modern politicians and voters.”

Tim Robey, The Telegraph

“The footage [Loach’s] researchers have unearthed for Britain’s surges of industry and initiative in those Labour years is marvellous, and when he alights on subjects that really fire up passion, such as the founding principles of the NHS, and the piecemeal privatisation that threatens its future, the movie feels like a salutary reminder of exactly what Ken Loach is for.”

Andrew Pulver, The Guardian

“This is clearly a subject Loach has great feeling for, even if he keeps himself scrupulously off camera. There's a very contemporary purpose at work here too: to remind people, if nothing else, why the NHS is worth fighting for at the very moment it's being dismantled. Films are rarely this committed or, indeed, persuasive.”

Cast & Connections

  • Director: Ken Loach
  • Writer: Ken Loach
  • Producer: Kate Ogborn, Rebecca O'Brien, Lisa Marie Russo
  • Composer: George Fenton

In a nutshell

Released in UK cinemas 15th March 2013, The Spirit Of '45 premiered at The Berlin Film Festival February 2013 and is out now on DVD. Click here to buy the DVD

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  • The Spirit Of 45

    Ken Loach

    on exploring a pivotal year in British history

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