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“The central idea was common ownership, where production and services were to benefit all. The few should not get rich to the detriment of everyone else. It was a noble idea, popular and acclaimed by the majority. It was the Spirit of 1945. Maybe it is time to remember it today.”
Ken Loach, Director’s Statement
After WWII, the Labour government in the United Kingdom enacted policies to support and rebuild the nation by rallying the populace to work together. In this film and its interactive campaign, Ken Loach seeks to preserve the memory of those progressive times and, with interactive features, to reveal just how much has changed and how much we owe to the “Spirit of 1945.”
In addition to the film, this project includes an extended online archive of interviews that explores the pressing issues of the day, like health, housing, and infrastructure. Loach films his interviews in black and white to set them alongside archival footage, creating a fluidity between past and present. To enhance the experience of traveling to those remarkable post-war years, the Spirit of ‘45 website includes a survey that compares users’ demographic information to average lifestyles in the 1940s and creates a re-imagined identity for the user—what their life might have been if the 1940s government and populace hadn’t rallied to build a stronger and more cooperative nation.