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March 12, 1987

THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD
Faith in progress

It's a bitter film, because defeat in a good cause is always bitter. But it's immensely stirring, because the good loser has fought so well.

And it's a film of only postponed hope. Before Frank retreats into submission, a cocky young urban black gives him a handclasp of solidarity. In this new boy we recognize the militant crusader who'll win the labour wars of the 1930s. A real crusading film.

But comes the Armistice, the returning white heroes displace Frank and his likes from their jobs. The bosses take back what they reluctantly gave. The Government turns a stone-face and a deaf ear.

Black quislings and provocateurs are sent to sow race hatred in the union ranks and weaken the common cause. Dissension boils over into the Chicago race riots of 1919.
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