The Happy Lands


Developed and created with members of Fife’s coalfield community, Scotland.
It’s the General Strike 1926 – only seven years after the slaughter of the trenches, miners unions lead the country against savage austerity cuts handed to the nation by a Liberal-Conservative government. Set in the village of Carhill Scotland, in the heart of the Fife coalfields, we follow the journey of one mining community as they are pushed inevitably towards a labour conflict with the Kingdom Coal Company in a seven month long lock out. “Not a penny off the pay, not a minute on the day” is the chant as the coal company demand longer hours for less pay.

The intimate portrayal of three families show the human consequences of an impersonal economics. The coal company practically owns the village and is colluding with government forces to keep the ‘red threat’ under control. Standing up for their rights inspires national support and galvanizes a defiant spirit of the time. Faith forged through suffering grows and though the strike fails, the seed of a political awakening is sown.
Inspired by true stories from local families in Fife, the Happy Lands follows the journey of law-abiding citizens who become law-breakers in a heroic battle against the state. It’s never a good time to stand up for your rights – but it’s always the right time.

Released Autumn 2013
Length 108 min
Director Robert Rae
Producer Helen Trew
Producer Mentor Tony Garnett
Executive Producers Robert Rae, Andrew Leitch and Ewan Angus
Director of Photography Scott Ward
Production Designer James Helps
Costume Designer Maggie Miller
Make-Up Designer Julie Mackay
Editor Florian Nonnenmacher
Script Consultant Adrian Mead
Script Editor Roger Smith
Musical Composer James Ross
Written by Robert Rae and Peter Cox with Steve Allan, Lillian King, Ross Wilson and members of the Fife Coalfield Community

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