Privilege

Tagged: Film

Film (1967). Worldfilm Services and Memorial Enterprises/Universal. Directed by Peter Watkins. Written by Norman Bogner, based on a story by Johnny Speight. Cast includes Max Bacon, Paul Jones, Mark London and Jean Shrimpton. 103 minutes. Colour.

A successful rock-star (Jones) is used by a Near-Future UK government as a puppet Messiah to manipulate the opinions of the youthful citizens. He is forced to change his image to suit the plans of the Establishment, but rebels, only, ironically, to be destroyed by his teenage followers. Watkins, who also directed The War Game (1965), Gladiatorerna (1968) and Punishment Park (1970), thumps his tub with a heavy hand; but, though simplistic, Privilege was ahead of its time in its depiction of government attempts to co-opt and domesticate the disaffection of the young, a theme of real importance, still rare in the commercial Cinema – which, after all, does much the same thing. [JB/PN]

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