Friday 29 December 2023


 Over the last decade, the Christmas season in the Donovan home in St Ives on the Penwith peninsula has been celebrated in the evenings with the viewing of our special collection of film. We are celebrating the birth of the subversive carpenter-turned-preacher called Jesus - the Nazarene Jew whose message is God is Love and that the pursuit of money is the pathway to losing that Love. 

Films are a capitalist invention. They are intended to make money. Yet they need to appeal and, even as the traumas of horrific world wars in the last century led to very many of the masses losing whatever faith they had, people still resonated with the messages of love and redemption that script writers conjured up for viewers, not least at Christmas.

Our Christmas film festival begins with the viewing over three evenings of the adaptation of John Masefield's story: 'The Box of Delights', a BBC children's film first shown in six parts in 1984. Directed by Rennie Rye who was at Catz, Oxford reading English from 1967-1970 at the same time as I was failing to read as much History as I should have done, this is a delightful imagining of the triumph of good over evil. The Christmas church service becomes a reality despite all the wickedness that is conjured up to prevent it happening. Society is saved from the greed and ambition of people whose egos have gone awry. The goodness of children, helped by some wondrous magic, in the end wins the day.

Christmas magic for children and adults - the whole family!

The screen writers for Christmas film have no time for the excesses of capitalism, even if they are not consciously shaped by a Marxist insight. The love of money is, of course, the root of all evil. Film maybe part of the market society but it is also a vehicle for criticizing the direction that people within