|The Streets of Newcraighall.|
|Jamie can't cope any more.|
|Finally a friend.|
These three films with their matter of fact dialogue are stark, grim and very disturbing to watch. But saying that Douglas produced a truly memorable piece of work that raises the question as to how on earth, in a so called civilized country, could people be allowed to exist in this way?
Eight years after completing this autobiographical collection and five years before his death in 1991 he made Comrades (1986). This was the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, six farm labourers who were arrested, tried and transported to Australia in 1834 for forming a trade union. This later work continued his interest in the lives and struggles of ordinary working class people. Bill Douglas has been described as one of the most original film-poets in British cinema history and his work reminds me of Andrei Torkovsky’s 1962 Soviet masterpiece Ivan’s Childhood the story of an orphan boy and his experiences during the last World War. A film that was not typical of Russian cinema at that time, one that looked at the human cost of war but did not glorify the experience of war. Douglas like many other great British film directors got considerably more critical acclaim in Europe than in the country of his birth.