Press Release – Socialist Aotearoa
Film screening Friday 9/11/12 – The Big Flame
Kia ora to all members and supporters of Socialist Aotearoa,
Come see a film screening of this classic Ken Loach film in solidarity with our Wharfies in Auckland.
Tomorrow (Friday) 7pm at Unite Union, 6a Western Springs Rd.
“The Big Flame” was set in the “near future”. A strike in the Liverpool docks is lead by an unofficial strike committee including Danny Fowler (Norman Rossington) and Peter Connor (Peter Kerrigan). They go out on strike in defiance of their union, mainly as a response to the threatened casualisation of the workforce. Strikers are seen discussing the progress of the strike, while voice-over narrators provide analysis. After six weeks the strikers are persuaded by a blacklisted union organiser Jack Regan (Godfrey Quigley), a former Communist turned Trotskyist, to move the strike from the ”the industrial to the political” by occupying the docks and running them. Regan argues: “There’ll be no revolution, but you’ll have lit a bonfire” (hence the Big Flame). After 5 days the occupation ends when the police and the army move in during the middle of the night . Fowler, Connor and Regan get three year prison sentences. Outside the court young workers start organising again. The message of the film is clear when on the last night of the occupation an American sailor sings “The Ballad of Joe Hill”. He may have been killed, but he didn’t die.
Hope to see you there,