Search Class

The Spirit Level Film - the story so far

Last year Katharine Round, Director of the forthcoming The Spirit Level documentary blogged for Class on why this project was so important. Today she presents a first-look trailer for the new film and updates us on how the documentary is progressing.

The last few months have been a profound journey for The Spirit Level, as, fresh from the first round of interview filming, I began to tackle the heart of the film – finding the stories through which we can begin to understand how structural economic and social shifts can impact on all our lives. It’s been an exhaustive process of speaking to thousands of individuals all over the world, and being privileged to hear about their lives, hopes and fears. Each of the extraordinary figures I met seemed to have one thing in common – a profound sense of humility, mixed with some of the most insightful things I’ve ever heard uttered about the world we live in.

Back in London, I handed the material over to editor Claire Ferguson with trepidation. She’s cut some of the best documentary features of recent years, including the fantastic film on the threat of overfishing The End of the Line, which created substantial change in fishing policy as a result. After a couple of days her emails came through: “I love it!”. Phew. What a relief. The one thing I know is if Claire likes something, we’re onto a winner.

So, I started on the next phase of the journey buoyed from the experience. It’s been months of intense preparation, taking me the length and breadth of the UK, from conversations with young men on the outskirts of society in Manchester, to activists fighting for change in Glasgow, and community leaders in the North East and elsewhere who tell of how economic shift has ripped the heart out of communities, and the people left fighting for a decent standard of living.

I’ve spoken to people demonised by the media: the “riot boys”, the low-waged, and the unemployed. I’ve found thoughtfulness and compassion where we have been told there is laziness and fecklessness. And it’s not just in the UK – my evenings have been spent speaking to those all over the world, from call centre workers to inmates in a California prison and young women preparing for motherhood.

Many of you supported the campaign last year and helped us launch with a bang, others I’ve met along the way and have offered support with research, on social media and through organisations. It’s thanks to our collective work together that we’ve got this far. When we launched we managed to make a huge noise online, and raised enough money to finance these first important shoots.

Having tracked down the most powerful stories on inequality from around the world, the time has come to bring our talented crew to them, so we can capture the next stage of the film. We need to come together again to make this happen.

Today I’m launching a short clip of just some of the interviews we’ve managed to secure so far. You can help us by simply taking time to share the clip below with your friends, colleagues and online networks today.

The finished film is available to pre-buy as a download, and if just 2,000 people buy it in advance, we can complete the UK leg of the film. The more people see it, the more likely we are to reach those who can help us. Our community is bigger now than ever before, which gives us a great opportunity to get the message out – so please share far and wide!

Our aim is to be able to get back on the road and filming as soon as we can, so we can make our planned release date of summer 2014. Thanks again for being part of the journey to bring The Spirit Level to the screen – we’re excited about what lies ahead and look forward to sharing more with you.