RR Films: Refusal

John Bercow may be a puffed-up ego on short legs but I applaud his rejection of the tiny-fingered one and his attempt to prevent Parliament from hearing more of his bile. It’s a start.

Lets celebrate films about refusal then, those where the little man or woman digs their heels in to stop the big bully. 2012’s No, about René Saavedra’s advertising campaign to defeat Pinochet in a referendum in 1988 fits the bill perfectly but I’ll kick off with Made In Dagenham instead.

Again, based on truth, the women refusing to take their lowly status any longer are also fighting against the patriarchy; which seems to fit the moment even better.

What films about refusal would you recommend?

28 thoughts on “RR Films: Refusal

  1. I think I might as well pick the last film I saw (yesterday) which was:


    A lot of these “based on true events” movies are either wildly inaccurate (The Imitation Game) or come across a bit like a made-for-TV dram doc. In this case it leans slightly toward the latter – but only slightly. It’s still a very good movie with some great performances.
    There has already been a drama doc which I haven’t seen but would now like to. An history-making case about a mixed-race couple who ended up defying one of the last bastions on segregation in the Southern States. Their case was taken up by Civil Liberties organisations after Mrs Loving wrote a letter to Bobby Kennedy and they ended up changing the constitution.

  2. Mentioned this on the Unity blog:

    “You think this man is the enemy? Huh? This is a worker! Any union keeps this man out ain’t a union, it’s a goddam club! They got you fightin’ white against colored, native against foreign, hollow against hollow, when you know there ain’t but two sides in this world – them that work and them that don’t. You work, they don’t. That’s all you get to know about the enemy.”

    Matewan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RSaBoDl_9k

  3. Probably best example for me is “If….” by Lindsay Anderson starring Malcolm McDowell as the leader of a small group of public schoolboys who rebel against the strictures of school life and end up slaughtering their teachers and parents ! A metaphor for the student protests taking place all over Europe in 1968 their refusal to conform to the establishment’s wishes was highly controversial at the time.

    As for Bercow it’s probably the most decent thing he’s ever done !

  4. First thought is my idol Howard Beale in Network – I’m mad as hell and i’m not going to take it anymore! But i used that for another topic, so i’ll try to think of something else.

    Props to Bercow though. Here’s hoping he set a precedent.

    • Well, the Repubs just got another female cabinet member confirmed. Yay! And so flat out dumb she could give Palin a run for the money.

  5. Anyone else see Chi-Raq, Spike Lee’s take on Lysistrata? A bit too fun and stylised to hit any targets but very watchable, I thought.

  6. I’ll go with Missing (Dir. Costa Gavras) and Edmund Horman’s refusal to give up looking for his son, Charles, who disappeared at the onset of the Chilean coup in 1973.

  7. Oh yes! Love all the films mentioned in this blog. I was wondering why I hadn’t seen Missing since the 1980s. I just found out there was a lawsuit that kept it out of the public eye up to 2006.

    • I’ll second that! It’s great to be reminded of films I saw yonks ago and have almost forgotten (If, Missing, Matewan). Keep ’em coming!

  8. Seems that your Labor leader has refused to be sworn in to the privy council as it would have involved kneeling to an unelected head of state. Good man.

    • That was a kerfuffle manufactured in October 2015, amy. Much water has passed, deferentially, under the bridge since then. Jeremy is not the brave socialist warrior we hoped; he has turned out to be rather reluctant to make much of a stand against anything really, and his public persona is very unleaderlike. “Sad!”

      • My brave socialist warrior seems to be the only politician here unafraid to take a stand. Uncoincidentally, I maintain, he still stubbornly insists on remaining an Independent as opposed to a Democrat.

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