Review at Nuke’s World

Today at 1545 local time, Chronicle of Protest, a film directed by Michael Chanan premiered at The Rio Cinema, Dalston, as part of the East End Film Festival.

On seeing its inclusion, I was heartened fearing a lack of films commentating on the events which have engulfed the capital over the past year. And so, looking forward to it I took up my seat, coffee in hand.

A note on the slightly deceptive title; this film chronicles recent protests, and is not literally a history lessons.

Depicting familiar scenes of the student protests, ukuncut’s “creative civil disobedience” and that of march26, the film does little to add to the trove of footage that floats about cyber-space.

It stands up by the inclusion of interviews. Not those given by public figures, who tend to recite recycled rhetoric (the exception being Michael Rosen), but by those delivered bynormal people. Those folk effected by the closure of their local library, those students and lectures effected by the higher education squeeze, those nurses facing redundancies due to NHS reforms.

Other then that, I didn’t see to much to scream about. Luckily enough, Chanan had the foresight to make these interview pieces the driving force of the film and so they constitute a great majority of the film.

During the subsequent question & answer session a critic at the back voiced his dissatisfaction of the film being a little soft, [presumably upset with it’s lack of call to arms] stating “its our job to make it happen.” [referring to the collapse of the government.]

I’m reluctant to say this film is a missed opportunity. I’m a strong advocate of quality output, and in this respect the film falls short. In a world in which we are bombarded with the “polished output of MTV”, jittery hose-pipe viewing cannot compete, and is more suited to the world of youtube.

Chanan shed light on the films inception, stemming from a series of blog post and this goes someway to explaining, if not excusing, the at times poor quality footage.

I suppose the question it raises is: is there a place for a film which occupies the middle ground. One which doesn’t directly challenge the state propaganda. There is certainly the case for fighting fire-with-fire, but this film more falls within the middle-ground bracket, quietly sowing the seeds of resistance. For those in London, it may not offer anything radically new, but it does have the potential to inform those a little more removed. Whether it ever reaches them is another question.


Source: Nurks World | Review: Chronicle of Protest
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