1649. With poverty and unrest sweeping England following the Civil Wars and the failure of the Levellers to secure voting rights for non-landowners, a group of impoverished people, the Diggers, form a settlement on St George’s Hill in Surrey…
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After years of Civil Wars, Gerrard Winstanley, a 17th century St. Francis forms his own Christian community to settle down in harmony with God. This is much to the discomfort of the authorities! In silent-cinematic imagery, Brownlow and Mollo questions democracy, not religion as one might expect. Winstanley's wreath of thorns is a reminder of the power of the individualistic spirit, no matter politics or creed.
Une oeuvre d'une grande puissance politique et revendicative qui par son constant souci d'authenticité historique, son refus attractif et séduisant d'un filmage à connotation esthétique et folklorique, rejoint les grands créateurs du documentaire fictionnel, du côté des Shirley Clarke et autre Peter Watkins... www.cinefiches.com
After a long hiatus, this film reaffirmed my love in cinema's potency and power, brevity and universality. The film is as much a love letter to the people it depicts as it is to film structure and economy, and it shows remarkable respect for both. An underrated masterpiece.