Still the Enemy Within at the Sheffield Doc Fest

15 May 2014

By the time that Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, the Tories had been planning for years how to crush the trade unions. This archive-rich film takes us back to the frontline of that battleground: the 1984 miners strike. Lasting a year, it brought tens of thousands of miners to the picket lines, in protest at the shutting of collieries, and loss of jobs. Told primarily from the retrospective of the miners’ communities themselves, we hear how the initial euphoria and solidarity evolved into desperation, starvation and bitter division. Interviewees recount how the state ruthlessly confronted the industry - from stockpiling coal before the strike, to ongoing harassment by thousands of riot police throughout, all aided by a relentless national media campaign. The government’s ultimate triumph smoothed the way for a country still determined to sell off its public assets in the pursuit of free enterprise.

Carol Nahra

Director: Owen Gower | Producer: Sinead Kirwan, Mark Lacey | Country: United Kingdom | Year: 2014 | Duration: 109 MINS