Writer's blog

by , Thursday April 26, 2018
Writer's blog

The Battle of Orgreave 

“The Battle of Orgreave” is a short film by Mike Figgis. In the year 2001 the premier was celebrated by the crowd of thousands. The film was quite a success as it adds freshness to the short film history. It is about a strike confrontation which occurred between police riots and NUM of Arthur Scargill. The film was based on a true incident which occurred in 1984 at Orgreave. 

In the film “The Battle of Orgreave”, Jeremy Deller for the final clash between British miners and police, which symbolized 1984, the final defeat of the unions against Thatcher. The occasion was the closure of 20 coal mines in England (Featherstone, 2009).


For a year the labor dispute raged, some with militant hardness. In the “battle of Orgreave” killed two picketers, 80 were injured when police attacked. The strike was an ideological struggle between socialism and capitalism and was basically a fight for the survival of an entire industry and the trade union movement in general (Multiply.com, 2011).


For three years working on the 60-minute film Deller project, were involved in more than 800 people. It has succeeded in persuading many former miners to participate. The artist mixed trailing and played recordings of interviews with former miners and supplements it with his personal opinions. To complement the film Jeremy Deller by him in an applied archive documenting the chronology of the year long strike (Soup, 2011).


Jeremy Deller is an artist, curator and producer of a wide range of projects, which include performances, films and publications. 2004 Jeremy Deller was awarded for his multimedia installation “Memory Bucket” (2003) won the prestigious Turner Prize (Tate.Org, 2004).


The story was conceptualized from the video clips and conducting interviews from the witnesses who were present there. The film was organized by the Event Plan. The confrontations occurred as a peaceful protest and strike by the miners who wants to block the plant. The custom essay paper plant was defended by the police. But this peaceful protest suddenly turned into deadly confrontation. The villages’ streets became the zone for running fight. Snatching and violence became common in the main streets and for the first time in Britain the “special snatching squads” were used. This had affected in policing the relationships among different industries which has provided a turning point. (Giles, 2008)


The film was a bit biased as it captures the miner’s perspectives the most although; it was a non political issue. The film presented the miners as the heroes and the police were not emerged as they should be. They were cast as villains and aggressive as Figgis main villain was Margaret Thatcher. As we have studied above that interviews were conducted to study the real picture. The participants of the interviews were the wives of miners and the policemen who have participated in the who will write my essay event. It was a hot day of June. An ex-policeman interviewer revealed that the police had become unsuccessful in maintaining peace and controlling the situation. The causes were that the police force was also being victimized by the state control just like the miners. Both the parties went off control and had bared consequences and had suffered. A few critiques even said that both the local communities have lost the battle. The local communities were never recovered especially after the mines were closed. (Giles, 2002)

The scene went greatly, as it concerned with much of the film’s story, it was given special attention. The battle scene was opened in a convincing way which is followed up with a fight without weapons and tools. The scene went quite good when the protestors started scattering as the policemen came in with their shields. The police officers drum the shields with their sticks. A missiles barrage and tormentors, a car which was showed as burning went greatly in creating the real picture of that event. 

The characters have skillfully captured the battle scene as they show terror, confront, fear and blood of the miners who were injured. Many were arrested and were charged in terms of creating a clash. The scene was actually captivating because the uniforms of policemen, expressions of the characters, the equipments which were used (shields) have supported creating the real picture. On the other hand the miners’ expressions were detailed and they were also given a perfect look. Their clothes were marked with ”Coal not Dole”. It was so good that we can demonstrate the footage or pictures as an example to children who wants to see the late 20th century riot’s actual picture. (Historicalfilmservices, 2011) 

Coming back to the characters, a few key roles were featured in the movie while some were not given attention. The re-enactment looks like a fun to the actors. They were enjoying and had even portrayed with their deep expressions and actions. Although, the confront was of serious nature but the miners considered it as a bizarre. The real hand to hand battle was quite interesting to act and to watch. 

The character of Arthur Scargill was not highlighted or even bothered to mention in the movie. The role of Arthur was played by Simon Kirk. He could only be noticed in the walk which was featured in the front police line. No one wonders why he was not given importance as he was the main player in the actual event without whom, the clash may not have occurred. It appeared as Napoleon’s Battle of Waterloo. Perhaps the director has felt that he was not the cause behind this deadly battle. The truth is this exclusion have become the weak point of the film. 

Coming to the camera techniques being used, the fact is it was a shot with hand held camera so one can easily feel the shake especially when the crowd scenes were picturized. It was hard to shot in a crew with a hand held camera but the camera man has cleverly anticipated the areas which showed live action especially the ones which were rehearsed. The shake and disorder have however, displayed the fun of watching a real battle. It could be sensed that the action has not stayed for longer periods. Another let down could be noted that the high scale real battle cross action, conducted in the middle of the road which showed police trying to scatter the miners, was not featured actively. 

Another missing point is that after the confrontation was ended the police and miners were not mentioned as they regretted over the battle. The regret, greetings and handshakes were completely forgot which is an embarrassment. For Britain, this event was historical as it showed the bad days and experiences of the nation 

The film had featured the days which were forgotten by people today. This film “The Battle of Orgreave” has revived the memories for those who have witnessed the event and for those who have read about it. The bad days and bad experiences of the British nation were featured in this movie, despite, the fact that it was quite a painful experience for the whole British nation. (Tailor, 2002) 

The film was targeted to the battle which has occurred within the British nation during the late 20th century. The characters have acted well and their efforts were shown in the movie. The Scargill’s character was neglected and the other letdowns were noticed by the critiques. The film is enable to communicate with the audiences, especially the battle scenes. Despite all, the movie is a best entertainment for every age of audiences and is not a waste of time.

The Battle of Orgreave was a Mike Figgis’ short film which was released and produced in United Kingdom. Mike is renowned Hollywood director. The story is based on real event of combat between police and the Arthur Scargill’s NUM in the area near Sheffield known as Orgreave. Almost 500 miners were involved in the combat against the same number of police personnel. The 500 miners were blocked the plant and peaceful protest turned into a violent incident in this event. In this event history is changed when short shield police is used in the mainland Britain for the first time. The film was superb in showing the scenes of that time and the clothes, sets and atmosphere was original. The success of the film was to be neutral and portray non-political impression was phenomenal. 

It is very hard to present almost 500 police workers and similar number of miners was in the scenes and arrangement of their costumes was not easy and more important presenting organizing them and presenting them and give directions to them is not an easy task for any director. Special stickers needs to be produced for workers and several stuntmen required and filming the scene of throwing stones and give them real feel is not an easy task for director. For that purpose safety rocks were produced for the scene. Film was ended with the very positive and pleasant gesture to audience and it was hand shake between police and miners; which left the recreation impact over local public which was very positive and important to show. This not only a reminder for authorities but many people suffered from such incident and it ended in positive notes which may heal some of their memory wounds. Public forget this sad incident of past so as local authorities but this movie for sure remind them the reason of such sad day and a message to avoid such incidents in future.

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