The director, Skip Kite, having made the film, wrote that ‘Tony Benn (87), the longest serving Labour MP in history, is also, arguably, the most popular UK politician of all time. Across the globe and in particular over the last five years his brand of socialism has struck a cord with people of all ages and social backgrounds. For the first time ever through intimate, quasi confessional interviews and his personal, photographic and film archive ‘Will And Testament’ reveals a very human face behind the political mask. In this feature length film, Tony Benn also criss-crosses the UK bearing witness to major social and political upheavals and events. He hopes ‘Will And Testament’ will prove to be the defining documentary of the most globally and politically aware generation in a lifetime. This documentary is an exclusive and deeply personal look at the life of a national treasure, a frank, candid and sometimes painful exploration of the great themes of life that have affected him and affect us all, love, loss, hopes, dreams, fears and death.’
Kite places Benn in a living room, which is also clearly a set, but also in his own kitchen as he talks to camera about his life and the events he has lived through. The filming must have been completed not long before he died. As may be fitting in the circumstances, it is a eulogy rather than pretending to offer a critique of the man who some feel was responsible for the failure of the Labour Party to win the General Election of 1983. Nevertheless, Benn is an entertaining and amusing guide to recent events and, on some issues, he has been proved to have been right in his interventions in the House of Commons. Famously he left that place to spend more time in politics.
The film won the Audience Award at the 2014 Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Click below for reviews and more information.
Venue: William Loveless Hall