Monday, January 25, 2016

Underground England - New Age Travellers Documentary (1993)

"The film, admittedly with an interesting concept at its heart, documenting travellers in the United Kingdom in the winter of 1993. It soon descends into a self-serving analysis of the director himself, who appeared to be somewhat disconnected with the idea of film-making ethics.

At one stage, director Edward Porembny pretty much forces his way into a traveller tent uninvited, with his soon-to-be disillusioned camera crew following this absurdly strange action. The travellers were forthright in their rejection of his entrance, yet he ignored their requests for his own wildly selfish objectives. This is not documentary film-making, but a feeble attempt at trying to CREATE something to document.

Later in the film, Porembny endangers the lives of his film crew, by coercing them into taking a flimsy raft out to sea. There is no apparent reason for this, as the narrative of gypsy travellers had been completely washed away by this point, only to be replaced by a self-indulgent, self-analysis of the untalented director.

All in all, this is 54 minutes of 'documentary' that is more suited to exposing the desperate ambitions of a below-average director, than actually learning anything interesting about British gypsy travellers in the mid-1990s. For what it is worth, I laughed at the absurdity of the director's efforts, but only in the act of averting the reality of the cold, dark methods of this tripe filmmaker." Alan Richards

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