Huw Stephens, Paul Sng, Patrick Jones, James Adrian Brown Create Haunting Cine-Poem 'Ghosts of '39'

Retrace the footsteps of the brave Chartists who lost their lives in the Newport Rising protests of 1839


Major PR

On Monday 04 November 1839, the Newport Rising was the last en masse armed rebellion against authority in Britain. Led by John Frost, nearly 10,000 Chartist sympathisers marched on the town of Newport, Monmouthshire in Wales in order to free fellow Chartists who had been taken prisoner in the town's Westgate Hotel. Largely comprised of manual labourers, the men had armed themselves with mostly homemade weapons and were no match for the soldiers who opened fire on them, killing 22 demonstrators. Those who led the rebellion were convicted of treason and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, though this was later commuted to transportation.

Ghosts of ’39 is a cine-poem that retraces the battered footsteps of those brave Chartists who lost their lives in protest against tyranny. Filmed along the walk from Nantyglo to Newport, it combines film, music, and spoken word to retrace history and reflect on commonalities with the present day. Directed by Paul Sng and written by Patrick Jones, the short film uses footage shot on a recce trip the two made as research for a film about the Chartists. Narrated by radio presenter Huw Stephens, edited by Claire Blundell-Jones and featuring an original score by James Adrian Brown (Pulled Apart By Horses), Ghosts of ’39 commemorates a historical life-changing event while also bearing witness to the inequality we see in the UK today.

“Ghosts of ’39 was born from a recce trip I made with Patrick Jones in the days before lockdown for an as yet unrealised film project on the Newport Rising. I sent Patrick some of the footage to review and he responded with a brilliant poem retracing the Chartists’ steps on their fateful walk to Newport. The footage is raw and wasn’t intended for public view, but Patrick’s words resonated and we decided to combine the two in a cinepoem, made during lockdown. James Adrian Brown composed and recorded a blistering original score and we’re blessed to have Huw Stephens narrating.”– Paul Sng

“This is dedicated to my father, John Allen Jones, without whose knowledge, discussion and vast collection of Chartist history books I wouldn't have such a passion and awareness of. We are all wrapped in the arms of ghosts.” – Patrick Jones

“When I was asked by Paul earlier this year if I was interested in scoring a piece for a cine-poem in collaboration with Patrick Jones, I bit his hand off instantly! Patrick is an incredibly talented wordsmith and when Huw Stephens jumped onboard to narrate his poem over Paul’s visuals, every piece of the jigsaw appeared and slotted perfectly into place. It’s a moving and thought-provoking piece and I’m buzzing to have been a part of it.” – James Adrian Brown

“I believe we need to know more of Wales' history. Patrick Jones writes beautifully, and so it was a pleasure to read and be part of this moving piece." – Huw Stephens

Source Major PR

August 17, 2020 5:28am ET by Major PR  

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