Roy Stafford has written a lengthy review of 1913 Massacre — which screened today at the Bradford International Film Festival in the UK — on The Case for Global Film. His thoughtful review touches on a number of themes and questions the film raises, and draws parallels with other films that tell “people’s history.”
The film turns out to be about [Woody Guthrie's] song, about the memories and about the narration of history. And now this film has become part of that history. It’s clearly a history that needs to be retold for succeeding generations and also as an example of a ‘people’s history’.
1913 Massacre is a conventional documentary film but it is skilfully constructed so that it enables several discourses around the history, culture and politics as well as the personal tragedies of that day…
Watching the film brought back memories of similarly themed documentaries such as The Wobblies (1979), the story of the International Workers of the World (available in full on YouTube) and features such as The Ballad of Joe Hill (Sweden/US 1970), sadly unavailable and also Claude Jutra’s classic Mon Oncle Antoine (Canada 1971) set in a ‘company mining town’ in Quebec in the late 1940s. Watching 1913 Massacre in the UK on the day before the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, the biggest union-basher in UK history, has made me think a great deal about the narration of ‘people’s history’. I suspect that I’ll return to these films.
You can find Stafford’s full review and join the discussion about the film here.