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The Miners’ Campaign Tapes (BFI) in November

The BFI have announced the UK DVD release of The Miners’ Campaign Tapes on 30th November 2009 priced at £12.99 RRP. These six short films, released for the first time, are described as a crucial document of a cataclysmic episode of British history 25 years ago.

A testament to solidarity and activism, the Miners’ Campaign Tapes tackle issues which continue to occupy us today: the right to demonstrate, police tactics, political double-speak, the role of the media.

In 1984 a group of independent film and video makers decided to show their support for the miners’ strike using the tools they had available: their cameras.

On the picket lines, at the marches and in the soup kitchens, they recorded the testimonies of striking miners, their wives and supporters, in a fight against the anti-strike propaganda dominating the mainstream media.

The videos that they produced are now available for the first time since the close of that devastating dispute. Among those that appear are Arthur Scargill, Dennis Skinner and the late Paul Foot. Music comes from popular artists of the time; Heaven 17, China Crisis, Kirsty MacColl, Joe Jackson and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

1 – Not Just Tea and Sandwiches
2 – The Coal Board’s Butchery
3 – Solidarity
4 – Straight Speaking
5 – The Lie Machine
6 – Only Doing Their Job?

Also included is an illustrated 22-page booklet with essays by Chris Reeves of Platform Films – discussing the making and distribution of the Tapes; by Julian Petley (co-author of Media Hits the Pits: the Media and the Coal Dispute and Shafted: the Media, the Miners’ Strike and the Aftermath and by David Peace, author of GB84, the Red Riding thrillers and The Damned Utd.

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