Although all our screenings have been fantastic, there have been some extra special moments that have really stuck out for us. Check out the team’s blog post where they share their best bits so far:
Owen Gower, director: The thing I’ve loved most about the Still The Enemy Within tour is seeing the way in which audiences have engaged with the film in an active way. At our first London preview screening in The Frontline Club, it was brilliant to have a 16 year old student come up to me afterwards to say ‘I loved the film, now what do I do to change things?’ Or to hear a woman say that as a result of the film, she was going to go out the next day to protest in support of the NHS. She even tweeted me the next day to say she’d done just that!
It’s something that seems to have happened everywhere we go and I’ve had some amazing conversations with people after the film. It was a particular honour for me to chat with Roger Graef and John Pilger after the screening at the Barbican and to hear how much they’d enjoyed the film. So, touring the film with Q&A’s has made active participation a two way street – the audience hears from us and we have the pleasure of hearing straight back from them. The whole thing is really direct, which has been very rewarding.
Mark Lacey, Producer: Touring the film around the country has been such an exciting and interesting experience. It has allowed us to meet the audience and discuss not only the way we made the film, but the politics and issues raised – as well as seeing and hearing people’s immediate, often very emotional, reaction to the film.
One highlight for me was the Welsh premiere at the Market Hall Cinema in Brynmawr. Firstly the audience was lead into the screening by a Silver band, with miners’ banners being carried by one of the miners who features in the film, Ron Stoat. To hear the music and see over 200 people marching in to see a film you have been part of was amazing. After the screening we had a fantastic Q&A, which could probably still be going on now if we hadn’t finished it!
Just before the Q&A, as the film finished, we were standing at the front of the cinema getting ready. A man came up to me and grabbed my hand, saying with a tear in his eye how much he enjoyed it. He pushed a gold circular object into my hand and thanked me for making the film. I didn’t realise until later that he had given me a Tally, a metal circle with a hole in the middle and the name of a pit and its number on it. This was hung up by miners as they went on shift, so people knew who was down the pit and could keep track of them. I never got to hear the man’s name or see him afterwards, but for the film to move him enough to give me such a personal memento was an incredibly special moment. It is something I will remember for a long time.
Sinead Kirwan, Producer: For me, there have been three stand-out moments of the release so far. The first was seeing the long queue for the film outside The Rio Cinema in Dalston. As a Hackney girl born and bred, my first memory of going to the cinema is being dropped off at the Rio kids club on a Saturday morning. It has a very special place my heart. To come back to the Rio, to a packed screening of a film I produced, was incredible.
The second was when we were approached by a young woman after the Liverpool screening to say that her dad was the Docker we feature in our film. It then transpired that the cinema manager who hosted our Q&A was in fact the same Dockers’ niece and apparently he was still as political as ever, which was amazing to hear!
The third stand-out moment was the pleasure of visiting the Moston Community Cinema in Manchester. Louis and Paula, who run The Moston and are a great team, have done an fantastic job turning the old burnt out miners bath house/social club into a vibrant and engaging venue. Their passion for their community was inspiring. I really hope we get a chance to go back soon!