A 20 odd minute Documentary that not only tells the tale of a small town sick of their lot but also encapsulates the feeling of a nation.
It will come as no big surprise to anyone that the U.K. over the last 5/6 years has been going through a dramatic shift, in fact the world seems to be, with people of all nations deciding to rise up and try to take back what is theirs. Of course it’s not always been for the best but hey you have to admit it’s bloody interesting to watch. I’m not really all that politically minded but boy do I love to see people getting their backs up and debating it, I won’t lie I even sometimes like to throw in a wry comment here and there you know when I have my banter pants on!.
I was sent a short movie called Redt’Blue about a small coal mining town called Mansfield that has a very rich and proud history of its coal mine. A town that since anyone can remember has been a Labour town but for some reason in 2017 it switched from Red to Blue as they voted In their first Conservative in 95 years. Let’s jump into another Short Reviewed and this time it’s a Doc.
Director: Jay Martin Writer: Jay Martin
Cast: Mick Newton, Kathryn Fletcher, Lee Anderson
Here is usually where I would write my plot synopsis but I kinda did that up above. What I will say though is that Jay Martin has pieced together a loving passionate and pretty informative documentary about the history and changes he has seen this town go through. Starting out with a brief history of the glory days and archive footage leading up to the Thatcher era, moving through till the Coal Mines were all but gone. Martin and his editor have done a great job of showing England at a certain time while also keeping this Short somewhat of today.
We are then quickly taken through events leading up to the towns change from the Red party to the Blue. Brexit happened and the town overwhelmingly voted to leave and you kind of wonder ‘could you blame them?’. Mansfield seems to have all but turned the lights off since the closures and the town really does look to have been forgotten about. When a chance came to make a stand they showed their hand.
Brexit would be passed (not sorted out for another million years but passed nonetheless) and this is when the change came. The Blue team hoping for the support of the country had a snap election and wouldn’t you know it, they stayed in (barely) But even more intriguing was the shift across the country especially in a town that had voted Labour the last 95 years however they wouldn’t be the only ones.
I can see why Martin would be interested in tackling this Doc and to be honest I don’t know if 20 minutes does it justice, I bet there is so much more there. What serves as a small snapshot of a moment in time for a small town is knowingly an insight into the country. I love the use of archive footage to really drill home what was going on, the interviews with local MPs on the situation are open and earnest. One MP even being long term Labour but switched sides and even explains why.
I really like this Doc, it’s very well put together and tells a complete narrative from back then to now, in the 20 odd minute runtime they give so much information for you to digest and it all assists you to understand… or wonder what the hell they were thinking but let’s be honest we have had a pretty bad 6 year hangover as a country goes. Oh and that musical score is absolutely delicious some nice strings all over the place classing this Doc tenfold.
I am super intrigued to see what Jay Martin does next, Doc or otherwise there is a very clear talent to be nurtured here and let’s be honest anyone willing to interview a member of UKIP, deserves a bloody medal and your time with this short.
4 out of 5.