“Land and Freedom” is a close-up look by script writer Jim Allen and director Ken Loach on the drama of the Spanish Civil War, and how it played out among the nameless little guys, the fighters in the trenches. The idealists, the idealogues, the romantics, the bored, who traveled from other countries to fight for Spain against Franco’s fascist regime, the peasants of Aragon who speak words foreign to them, such as “collectivisation of the land”, their loves, their deaths, their disillusionments-it’s all there. Brilliantly directed, it has the realistic feel of an invisible camera following the men and women constantly, silently recording them as they put forth their ideas and convictions, beautifully photographed fighting in the bright Spanish landscape. English and Spanish are spoken in the movie (no “native” Spaniards speaking with a New York accent here) and the English subtitles translate the Spanish as well. The film leaves the viewer with an intimate understanding of what it was really like, usually something that only a good film can do.

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