Screening in America for miners’ film

editorial image

A film which captures the humour and resilience of miners and their families during the strike of 1984-85 will be screened in New York.

With Banners Held High will be shown to an international audience at the Workers Unite Film Festival on Sunday.

The film, which features first-hand stories of the strike from Frickley and Sharlston colliery miners, tells how communities took on the government in a bitter year-long struggle against pit closures.

It was directed by Judi Alston, of Wakefield-based One to One Development Trust, and first screened at the city’s Unity Hall in March at a premiere attended by around 300 people.

Ms Alston, who will travel to New York to introduce the film, said: “I am incredibly proud and excited that our film has been selected to be shown at this very inspiring film festival with really good films from all over the world.”

With Banners Held High was commissioned by the organisers of a day-long festival of the same name held at Unity Hall in March.

The film tells of the solidarity of striking miners and how a new feminist movement, Women Against Pit Closures, was formed.

It will be shown at the festival before a screening of the film Pride, which depicts how gay and lesbian activists raised money for striking miners.

Andrew Tilson, executive director of the Workers Unite Film Festival, said miners in America faced their own struggle during the Pittston Coal strike of 1989-90, when healthcare benefits were ceased for retired and disabled miners.

He said: “We love With Banners Held High because the 1984-85 miners’ strike was a pivotal moment in labour history, when the forces of global capital decided to reverse decades of labour power, by the reactionary, anti-worker policies of Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the US.”