Postcards from the 48% Movie Review
Made in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, “Postcards from the 48%” by David Wilkinson tells the story of why the remain voters voted the way they did, and how they feel about the leave referendum passing.
For anyone living under a rock, in June of 2016, a referendum was passed regarding the decision for the UK to remain in the EU or not, and 52% of British voters voted to leave the EU. Although legally the referendum was non-binding the UK government decided to go along with the voters and exit as a member of the EU which is scheduled to be complete by March 2019.
“Postcards from the 48%” is, at the admission of the director, a one-sided documentary. David Wilkinson travels throughout the UK visiting remain voters and providing them an opportunity to voice their opinion on the results of the referendum. In Northern Ireland, he spends a lot of time with Mark Durkan, a former MP who goes into great detail explaining the impact that the leave vote is going to have on Northern Ireland. His concern has to do with how the border with Ireland will be handled, and if we will see any of the violence of the past return.
Wilkinson also looks at the impact that leaving the EU will most likely have on the economy in the United Kingdom. According to this film, much of the information provided before the vote was incorrect. Currently, the expectation is that leaving the EU will have more of a negative impact. This has already been seen with companies moving from the UK to Ireland and other EU member countries.
The film felt a bit long at times with the director interviewing many of the same people over and over, many of whom were basically saying the same thing: hard borders are bad, and immigration actually has a positive effect on the economy. Also, I would have liked to see a harder stance on those who chose not to vote. One of the arguments that many in the film are making for having a second referendum is that a lot of people didn’t vote because they didn’t think the referendum would pass. I don’t find that a valid excuse, if a person decides not to participate in the political process then they can’t complain about the outcome.
There were a lot of people featured in this film that appear to have some hope that the leave process might be stopped by a second vote, or that if they protest enough, Theresa May will “change her mind.” A note here: Theresa May was not the PM when the vote happened. She took over after David Cameron resigned as a result of the vote. May, however, is the primary driver of the UK governments support of the leave referendum.
Personally, I am strongly against the UK leaving the EU as well, but the referendum did happen and sometimes we have to live with the consequences of our actions. As an American, I was appaled when Donald Trump was elected, but I don’t support the “not my president” people because whether we like him or not, he is the president. And like it or not, as of right now the UK is leaving the EU, and unfortunately, those who don’t want it to happen will need to deal with it.
“Postcards from the 48%” is currently playing in limited release. To find out if it is showing in a theatre near you visit the website www.postcards48.eu
Review by Milo Denison, the author of “How to Manage Your Manager” available now.