Saturday 23 June 2018

Postcards from the 48% - Edinburgh International Film Festival

Two years ago the United Kingdon voted to leave the European Union. I voted to Remain in the EU primarily because of the additional protections that Europe gives our environment, the Birds and Habitats Directives and the various directives on pollution, (though some aspects of the Common Agricultural Policy are detrimental to the environment). You can read my blog post on the environmental benefits of the EU in this blog post.

As a Remain voter I was very interested to see the film Postcards from the 48% which got it's world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival earlier today. As an environmentalist I was totally disappointed that in all the issues talked about in the film, the environment was not addressed once, beyond one member of the public being interviewed saying how with all the global problems including climate change, it's shocking that we're focussing so much on Brexit. No other mention of any environmental issue at all. One day we will need to wake up to the fact that the environmental issues are the most important of all. If we don't address these issues then all other issues become irrelevant as we fight fur survival in a burning world depleted of food and nature.

However if you ignore this huge oversight by the makers of this film, it is a very interesting documentary into the state of the UK post Brexit and the feelings of the many people across the country who voted to Remain in the EU.

David Nicholas Wilkinson travelled across the UK asking celebrities, media people and members of the general public, all Remainers, their thoughts on Brexit and how they thought things would develop as we leave the EU.

Most people focussed on the economy, the financial support that the EU has brought to struggling post industrial areas, support that will not be replicated by the UK Government post-Brexit. The looming possibility of a return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to the South was unsurprisingly the major concern for the Irish people interviewed.

The film goes into a fair amount of detail of the history of the benefits of the EU for the economy and peace in Northern Ireland. It also represents the views of Remainers from a diverse range of places across the EU, though it does tend to be Anglocentric, not only in terms of most interviewees being based in England but also in the fact that some (most?) of those English interviewees refer to English or England when I think they mean UK?

Like the EU itself, this film is flawed, but whatever you voted in the referendum it gives you an interesting snapshot of what Remainers feel now and a sobering insight into the potential future of the UK and our relationship with the rest of Europe.

Postcards from the 48%  got its World Premiere today at 8pm at Edinburgh International Film Festival and will be released across the UK on 6 July. You can view more information about screenings here.

You can read my other reviews from this year's film festival by following the links below:

 We the Animals - growing up in a rural idyll doesn't guarantee a happy childhood

Island of the Hungry Ghosts - meditation on migration and detention on Christmas Island 

Kayak to Klemtu - a young First Nations woman kayaks to her home town to protest against a pipeline

Supa Modo - a super-hero film with a difference 

Becoming Animal - meditative documentary about the human relationship with nature

Science Fair - documentary about brilliant young scientists attending the International Science and Engineering Fair

Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and attended a free press screening of this film.

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