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The Navigators
The Navigators
Actors: Dean Andrews, Thomas Craig, Joe Duttine, Steve Huison, Venn Tracey
Director: Ken Loach
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
R     2003     1hr 36min

Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 06/21/2005 Run time: 92 minutes Rating: R


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Movie Details

Actors: Dean Andrews, Thomas Craig, Joe Duttine, Steve Huison, Venn Tracey
Director: Ken Loach
Creators: Barry Ackroyd, Mike Eley, Jonathan Morris, Peter Gallagher, Rebecca O'Brien, Ulrich Felsberg, Rob Dawber
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 12/02/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A privatized world is not necessarily better
Jacques COULARDEAU | OLLIERGUES France | 08/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ken Loach is attracted by extreme situations. In this film he shows the damage privatisation caused in the railway industry. Team spirit was destroyed among railwaymen with all it brought along : tension, selfishness, isolation, carelessness, even maybe hatred and cruelty. The men lost their daily security and it also meant tension in the families, with their wives, girlfriends, and ex-spouses and children. Family life suffered tremendously, also meaning some other blights like alcoholism, though Loach does not insist on that point. He describes in details the way agencies become the real go-betweens for these now flexible workers and the real employers who cut on cost even if it means less safety and more danger. Of course Ken Loach ends up with an accident : a man is wounded by a train at night because there was no one to make sure the tracks were empty while the men were transporting concrete in buckets, having regressed in their working conditions at least one century. Work there is, for sure, but unions are banned, regular hours are dead, private life disappears, working conditions are primitive and accidents become a real plague, not to mention the tremendous waste it means when two private firms are competing on one site, each one sending less men than before but the two together sending mor men. A complete break with the present in the name of a future that smells like the past very much. And today the state is forced to go back into the picture to guarantee some security and regularity, for the passengers this time.

Cautionary Tale of our times
Pablo Martin Podhorzer | Buenos Aires, Argentina | 10/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The classic privatization process of a governmental agency, taken apart inexorably by the new owners, from the workers' point of view. First come the voluntary retirement slips. Later on, the decreased working conditions, and finally, the dismantlement of the entire working environment. Those who want to continue working must do it through temporary agencies without collective agreements and using their own equipment. Naturally, security levels decline and people get hurt. All what is wrong with neo-classical economics is here: the money that was expended in more wages and better quality work is now channeled towards the owners of the agencies and the contractors, who care nothing about the workers, and if they're the workers themselves they must do un-ethical things to survive at the same level than before. A gifted group of actors bring to life the known pattern of despair that settles after a Thatcherite technocrat has done his work in the name of efficiency, and the gains of the think thank who employs him after hours."
A Heartfelt and Sincere Cinematic Experience...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 08/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ken Loach is known for making films that reflect social injustices, which is apparent in films such as Bread and Roses (2000) and My Name is Joe (1998). In Navigators Loach depicts the social issues in a documentary style that brings the importance of the issues with swiftness to the audience as it feels very real. In addition, there are no celebrities performing the parts of the characters, which develops an authentic atmosphere around the characters of the railroad workers.

One morning when a group of railway workers of various age and experience arrive to work they find that their government lead company British Railway has been sold off to the private sector. Unprepared these men find out the hard way that the days of "a job for life" are gone in the United Kingdom. The railroad workers and their superiors are neatly lead into the private sector by diligent businessmen where they are forced to face the cutthroat world of capitalism where their union rights are obsolete.

In the end, Loach brings a sincere cinematic experience to the audience as he tells his story about British Rail as they abandoned their employees in 1995. This experience is heartfelt as the realism conveys personal struggle's that the railroad workers faced as they lost their jobs. Loach balances this delicately as he does not overexpose the characters problems and does not over emphasizes the injustices done to the railroad workers. Instead Loach merely lets the story take place and the audience is allowed to make its own judgment in regards to the social injustice. 
Great Film!
D. Lee | USA | 12/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've watched this film many times. I just don't get tired of it. I like the story and I feel like I can relate to these guys having their normal sane world turned upside down on them. I live in the USA and have always enjoyed the sound of the English accent, so that is a plus too. This film succeeds because it doesn't try to be anything more than a story of these men working at the rail yard. All the characters are equally as important, and you even like the boss who is also caught up in this transition. Having recently traveled to London I have watched it again and enjoyed it just as much as I did before. I'll have that tin of sardines for me suppa!"