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Nature of the Beast

  • 2017
  • Daniel Draper
  • 106 mins
  • PG
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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

This portrait of Labour MP Dennis Skinner offers fascinating insights into the life and career of the staunch socialist and House of Commons perennial since 1970. Charting his journey from miner and trade unionist to local councillor and Member of Parliament for the Derbyshire constituency of Bolsover, Daniel Draper's documentary evokes a bygone age, as Skinner's Commons tenure runs parallel with a period in the 1970s and 80s that saw unions and government in a permanent state of war, a turbulent era when "Bolsover's answer to the Incredible Hulk" forged his firebrand reputation. Whether fulminating against the government of the day and denouncing political patronage (he's never held a cabinet or shadow post) or enthusing about the films of Woody Allen and singing Getting to Know You from The King and I, the veteran class warrior proves to be a more charming and approachable subject than his "Beast of Bolsover" reputation would indicate. You may not have the same views - he's an avowed republican and rarely misses an opportunity to quip about the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament ("tell her to pay her taxes") - and no critics are interviewed here, but there's no denying the man's principles and passion for speaking to power (as illustrated by his Commons tussle with Enoch Powell over the future of stem cell research). He's pretty witty, too, as a montage of his best ripostes testify.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Dennis SkinnerDennis Skinner

Crew

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DirectorDaniel Draper

Details

Theatrical distributor
Shut Out the Light
Released on
2017-09-08
Languages
English
Guidance
Swearing
Formats
Colour
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