Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

The Enemy Within 2014

Directed by Owen Gower

Archival footage and interviews are used to stirring effect in this doco that shows how Britain’s striking miners in 1984 were ill-equipped to face an overwhelming, lengthy and ‘carefully orchestrated state crackdown’.

UK In English
116 minutes DCP
Exempt

Director

Producers

Sinead Kirwan
,
Mark Lacey
,
Owen Gower

Photography

Malcolm Hadley

Editor

Paul Edmunds

Music

Rael Jones

Margaret Thatcher’s strategic sacrifice of Britain’s coal mines now stands clearly as a historic turning point in the free marketeer war on organised labour. (‘The enemy within’ is what she called the unions.) In this illuminating record of their struggle, strike veterans rake over their losses with alacrity and insight.

“It exposes how the Thatcher government colluded with big business, the police and the media to break the back not just of the National Union of Miners, but of the entire trade union movement, and perhaps even any notion of working class solidarity. This is an unashamedly one-sided viewpoint, but that in itself feels necessary to correct two decades of government obfuscation and excuse-making (all of which was definitively swept away earlier this year when newly released documents revealed just how far the Tories were prepared to go to realise their dream of an unrestrained corporate free-for-all). Lovingly made, beautifully shot and wonderfully soundtracked by the likes of The Specials and The Mekons, this is timely, important and truthful cinema, at once bitter, nostalgic and unexpectedly uplifting.” — Tom Huddleston, Time Out