A Celebration Of Political Satire

When: April 13-17, 2015.

Where: The University of Portsmouth and No. 6 Cinema, Portsmouth.

It’s that time again. Campaign buses are rolling out across the country as Britain’s political elite pledge, promise, harangue, smear, plot, schmoose, lecture and baby-kiss in search of our votes. Few events bring Westminster’s grizzly machinations into such stark relief as a general election, when politicians find their every comment, statement and act under public scrutiny. What better occasion, then, to revisit the films and television shows that have sought to drive a comic stake deep into the heart of the political process? Enjoying a rich and diverse history on the big and small screen, political satire has produced some of the most cutting-edge critiques of contemporary public life.

This Is the Week That Is offers a weeklong series of film and television screenings, lectures and discussions devoted to political satire, past and present. From classic shows of the 1980s to more recent skewerings of the political classes, it will feature talks from creative practitioners and media historians.

Writers and comedians discuss the contexts in which shows such as Spitting Image, The New Statesman and Not the Nine O’Clock News were produced. Historians explore the social and political resonance of films like Dr Strangelove, The Great Dictator and Heavy Traffic.

The event is organised by the University of Portsmouth, in collaboration with its partners Portsmouth Film Society and No. 6 Cinema. This project is supported by Film Hub South East, with National Lottery funds, distributed by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN).

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