Credit Bill Douglas Museum

Comrades was made by director and collector Bill Douglas. Image courtesy of the Bill Douglas Museum.

Special screening of landmark film to mark 20 years of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

A special screening of a landmark film will be held to mark the 20th anniversary of Exeter's Bill Douglas Cinema Museum this week.

First released 30 years ago in 1987, Comrades was made by director and collector Bill Douglas and is now regarded as a masterpiece, following years when it wasn’t seen by film-goers. This year also marks two decades since the museum, which holds the collection that Bill put together with his friend Peter Jewell, was opened to the public.

The film tells the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Dorset farm labourers transported to Australia for forming a union. Their treatment was condemned by the public and led to protests and the beginning of the British trade union movement.

The screening will be introduced by Mr Jewell, who was the researcher and script editor on the film, who will speak in conversation with Phil Wickham, Curator of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.

The museum has one of the largest collections of moving image artefacts in this country. Some of these items were used in Comrades, which starred then-unknown actors who are now household names such as Imelda Staunton, Phil Davis and Keith Allen.

Dr Wickham said: “This year is a very special one for the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum as we celebrate our anniversary. This screening is one of many special events which will be held to mark the occasion and a rare opportunity to hear Peter talk about his work with Bill.”

The film will be shown on Saturday 29 April at 2pm at the Exeter Phoenix and tickets can be booked online.

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is at the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus and is free and open every day.

Date: 26 April 2017

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