ONE of the writers behind a 2013 drama on the General Strike in Fife has argued the film is "not a documentary" after a writer explored how accurate it was to history.

Defending the film, Lillian King said The Happy Lands, about a fictional Fife town during the 1926 General Strike in support of the miners, is “in no way an attempt to recreate the whole history of the strike”.

She said: “We chose to make a drama because we were hoping to bring a sense of the period to young people today, and we appear to have done that.

“Along with the making of a drama, however, come certain expectations. One is that it has to entertain, instruct or edify; the other is that film tends to be fast-moving and therefore the focus had to be on the moments of action rather than on the long periods of hardship and inaction, which would have been the grinding reality of the eight-month-long strike.”

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King was replying to an article written by Rory MacLellan and published by The National. MacLellan argued that focusing on one town in the strike “does not offer much detail on wider events” and questions like “what caused the strike?” and “what did the strikers achieve?” remained unanswered.

In response, King said: “MacLellan also claims that by focusing on a single mining community the film doesn’t offer much detail on wider events, eg the OMS, fascists and the Economic League. These were lightly touched on but are issues much too complex to be dealt with in the kind of film we hoped to achieve or in the limited screen time available, but information on the first two is readily accessible in many history books.”

She added: “One final note – interesting is it not, that ten years on, this little film is still making headlines?”

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Responding to King, MacLellan said: “Coming at the film as a historian not specialising in twentieth-century labour history, the article addressed some of the questions that I as a viewer had after watching it. My first instinct after finishing The Happy Lands was to look up some of these historical references, such as the OMS and the Economic League to find out more.

“The piece, and the other articles I have written about Scottish history in film for The National are not critical reviews of each film’s quality, they are there to introduce a little more of the history depicted in each film to any reader wanting to know more.

“As I said in the piece, The Happy Lands offers a detailed depiction of the effects of the General Strike in Fife. It is a fascinating film and, having had some difficulty in finding a copy to view, I only wish that it were more readily available for others to discover.”