A film on Cromwell ?

This came in from Marshall :

Hi,

On the 30th January 1659, Charles Stuart, King of England, Scotland and Ireland stepped onto the scaffold to face his execution after seven years of civil war in his three kingdoms, conflict that resulted in the death of a greater proportion of our population than in the world wars of the 20th Century.

The execution of the King and the preceding war was without doubt one of the most momentous things ever to happen in our country. Why then is it a subject so poorly covered by the film and television industry. The Tudors, and in particular Elizabeth, are the subject of so many films and television series that it seems that every well known actress has put her own slant on Elizabeth’s life.

Your two Elizabeth films are truly amazing, but what of Cromwell, our chief of men, one of our greatest historic figures, who with the support of some amazing, influential contemporaries changed our country for the better – forever. They changed the unthinkable – that we could be ruled by someone outside the elite aristocracy – it was the real beginnings of our Parliamentary system and eventually helped inspire the American colonies to fight for their freedom.

The film ‘Cromwell’, staring Richard Harris, was amazing for its time but surely the time is right to tell the story of the Civil War, Cromwell and the execution of Charles I using modern filming techniques and digital technology, to bring to life someone that should be a hero to all democratically minded people.

You are the person to make this happen; to bring Cromwell to life, to tell one of the greatest stories in our history and to help put him at the forefront of our Nation’s history.

Your films are inspirational – our Nation needs inspiration, direction and a sense of who we are. We are not subjects, we are citizens of a great country – I want our voices to be heard I want us to be truely free. The memory of Cromwell, John Lilbourne and Thomas Raisborough needs to live on, to inspire and help us to realise there is another way – we don’t need to be ruled, we need to be free, we need to have a stake in our Nation, not simply be seen as servants of our ruling aristocratic elite.

Help us to become free through film.

Thanks for listening

16 Responses to “A film on Cromwell ?”

  1. Harb says:

    Now that is recognition beyond any Nobel Prize! As for the film you know better, it could be a great movie.

    By the way today a ridiculous thing happened. Some of you may enjoy it a bit. Throughout the royal wedding I continued to think the maid with children who later picked Kate’s gown was Royal’s some Asian servant. Now it transpires she is Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton…Prince’s saali lol. Dont people think she should have been presented in a better way? I have written more at my above blog.

  2. Pankaj Mhaske says:

    Dear Sir,
    I met you yesterday at JUHU PVR during the show of THOR. Meeting you was the happiest moment of my life and being a follower and student of your Films from the days of MASOOM,the Music Video of Suchitra Mam’s  ZINDAGI MERI, up till ELIZABETH-GOLDEN AGE, made me so excited about life again. Sir, you are the only example in India of the transition from Bollywood to Hollywood and being so ahead of times 
    Marshall is so correct to appeal you to make a Film on Cromwell after you made 2 GREAT FILMS on the most interesting Royal personality of all time -Queen Elizabeth. People all around the world saw these great piece of Art where you emphasized on acting and close ups along with the aesthetics of the large canvas. I proudly told my American friends about how you started from a Film ahead of times “MASOOM”,then the Film BANDIT QUEEN The first Film shot and Directed in Hollywood style with no songs during those days when good songs lead to a definite hit in Bollywood. My friends especially my Film friends and non Film friends rented these Films and were so thrilled to see the variety of the 2 stories,especially BANDIT QUEEN, which touched the souls of good hearted people,an inspiring tale indeed. My friends and I guess millions and millions of Film audiences all over the world saw ELIZABETH with keen interest and were appreciating all the aspects of the Film, especially the acting and it’s dialogue delivery,Kate’s best work of her lifetime…..
    Sir, we Indians are very grateful to you for bringing up the topic of WATER/PAANI through various means. Forget the politicians, not even the few good people in the media were showing any concern about it. Only after when a serious Film maker of your stature raised the horrible future with less drinking water,then everybody’s eyes opened. Even newspapers printed your quote about 6000 litres of water wasted for a denim jeans.And Sir, as you said there is a great and sure possibility of civil wars due to lack of drinking water not only in India,but around the world. People are just living in a delusion that the future is bright,the economy is growing but little they know that there will be WATER MAFIA, or there is as stated by you in the form of politicians.I honestly think people in Mumbai who have 24 hours access to water should act responsibly. They need to have a bigger heart and think about those who get tap water once in a week. Above all the Govt should provide even water supply to Mumbai city, but as you said there is opposite life existing just a mile away from an upgraded township. Some years ago I knew a wanna be  corporator who used to manage to cut the pipe line temporarily in his area so that people should come to him for help. Such is the sick mentality of politicians here in India who are so power and money hungry that they will never ever allow a proper implementation of a system where people will get atleast proper drinking water, forget about the water for daily use. An example of this sick mentality was the opposition of the proposal/idea of a good politician in the 70’s (pls forgive me,I cannot remember his name at this moment) who appealed the leaders of every state of India to unify the rivers through a tunnel system to store water and transfer water from a flood area to a drought area. The main motto of this plan was to make India drought free, but he was called crazy and the plan was ridiculed by the media at that time, ofcourse on the behest of the politicians because all Indian politicians of every party want chaos of certain kind to engage peoples mind into it and thereby ignoring their corruption and lack of work. And what would be more chaotic than lack of drinking water in the ever expanding Indian population…!!!
      Sir, thank you for bringing along World Bank for this cause. This world needs social workers from different professions to be saved from calamities as the politicians and media are not telling the true future to fellow human beings, that the future is chaotic if we don’t accept the facts and taking precautions. We are already late. But it’s not too late. Sir, please involve Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities as the electronic and print media will be forced to give proper coverage and it will create a lot of awareness. We humans and especially humans from India have half dead soul when it comes to social issues, but it can be awaken again with your initiative followed by people of different fraternities…….
    Sir, also thank you for enhancing the image of Bollywood at the Cannes festival and maintaining it’s identity as the industry with beautiful hearts. Sir please tell Suchitra Mam to sing more songs or cut an album like Zindagi Meri. I loved that song along with my small band members when I was struggling as a singer,composer,lyricist many years ago. I was also a member of Indian Performing Rights Society as a composer and lyricist in the past. Mam was a member as a composer I think. 
    Sir, please create yet another master piece. “We”- your students of your Great and Unique Films are eagerly awaiting.  Sir, Indian people will always remember MASOOM as one if the most closest Film to their heart and Mr India will always be the first Sci Fi Film of Indian Cinema. I saw it 5 times in the theatre 🙂
    Thankyou again for being so kind and nice to a beginner like me. I told my Parents about it and they too thank you and God. 
    -Your follower and Student,
    Pankaj Mhaske

  3. Rudra says:

    Shekhar,

    Indian History is not properly taught anywhere, not even in India! How about a few Elizabeth quality Films on some real but little known events and characters in India, before embarking on another British subject?

    We dont know much about the machinations of the British Indian Civil Service, the role of Devils like Sir William Jones, Max Mueller, other early Indologists, or the stories of Indian Rajas who sold their soul and country to the British, in some cases actively helping the British expand and loot India.

    Cromwell can come later. Lease Help India understand its condition, through some Films that are both entertaining and historically consistemt?

  4. Helena says:

    “to bring to life someone that should be a hero to all democratically minded people.” ??? I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a hero.

    “What about sanctimonious Cromwell and his ironsides that put the women and children of Drogheda to the sword with the bible text God is love pasted round the mouth of his cannon?”
    James Joyce, Ulysees.

    I would be interested in seeing a contemporary film about Cromwell, but a film cannot be made that doesn’t include what he did during his reign in Ireland, as it is a huge part of our history.

    Winston Churchill described the impact of Cromwell on Anglo-Irish relations:

    …upon all of these Cromwell’s record was a lasting bane. By an uncompleted process of terror, by an iniquitous land settlement, by the virtual proscription of the Catholic religion, by the bloody deeds already described, he cut new gulfs between the nations and the creeds. ‘Hell or Connaught’ were the terms he thrust upon the native inhabitants, and they for their part, across three hundred years, have used as their keenest expression of hatred ‘The Curse of Cromwell on you.’ … Upon all of us there still lies ‘the curse of Cromwell’.”[67]

    Cromwell is still a figure of hatred in Ireland, his name being associated with massacre, religious persecution, and mass dispossession of the Catholic community there. As Churchill notes, a traditional Irish curse was mallacht Chromail ort or “the curse of Cromwell upon you”.

  5. austere says:

    I’d left a “wow” here earlier in the day, but is missing.
    So again:
    Would Mr. Cromwell be a good theme? I have no idea.
    But I found it interesting that he would suggest this to you, a non- Brit.
    And look to you for inspiration and etc. Seek your perspective.
    All of this was condensed into a simple “wow”.
    Which works as well, I believe.

  6. Janita says:

    Who are we to judge?
    I can understand rage, the rage of people who suffered, who loosed loved one, who had and have to suffer .
    To kill someone unarmed make you as worse as the person you have killed.
    Why didn’t they bring Osama to court?
    Out of fear to loose control over? Because of secret information, which make people change thinking about the U.S. ?

  7. Marshall1771 says:

    Two very interesting posts, that open up a very large can of worms. Firstly, in response to austere, I would think that a ‘non brit’ as you put it would be an ideal person to deal with a subject such as this. As you can see from Helena’s comments Cromwell splits views in the UK and The Republic of Ireland. Cromwell did undoubtedly create a huge negative legacy that still has consequences today. I would be the first to condem what happened at Drogheda but we must also consider the times in which these events occurred, when religious persecution was the norm and horrendous things happened in many of the communities throughout Europe in the name of so called religion.
    Quoting Churchill is interesting as in many respects as he was very much an imperialist and was involved in the South African conflicts.
    I feel someone without preconceived ideas and a skill at bringing history to life would be an ideal person to make a film about Cromwell, worts and all!

  8. Marshall1771 says:

    A few more points in response to Helena. Cromwell has received a terrible press since the restoration of the monarchy. What happened in Ireland should be explored and shown. Cromwell was not however the only person responsible. Colonisation of Ireland and deposition of the existing population had been going on for centuries and speeded up during Elizabeth I’s and James I’s rule. It didn’t end of course with Cromwell’s death, the English in whatever form, royalist or republican have always cause havoc in Ireland. History is never straight forward and there is very rarely a simple black and white situation. Take the highland clearances where the catholic clansmen were dispossed not only by the English but just as much by their own leaders who cleared the land of their tennants for greater profit. Rudra’s comments about the Indian Rajas is interesting and very similar by the sound of it.
    Cromwell is remembered for what he did in Ireland but the Royalist general in Scotland is forgotten even though he slaughtered as many of his own people in the north eastern towns of Scotland.
    Wherever you are in the World or in history it generally comes down to profit and it’s always the weak and poor that suffer.
    For all of Cromwell’s faults, of which there are many, at least he was involved, for the first time in English history, in fighting totalitarian rule and supporting a democracy of sorts. The English Civil War produced many influential people and groups eg the Levellers who saw a better way forward for the future. Cromwell’s failure was to try and tread a middle course that ultimately lead to the restoration on his death.

  9. Chakra says:

    I am pretty sure Mel Gibson is the perfect choice for this project as he has his roots, background and history tied to Ireland!!!

  10. Rudra says:

    Marshall :”Wherever you are in the World or in history it generally comes down to profit and it’s always the weak and poor that suffer.”

    Well said.

    Though , there are other agendas than profit alone , when it comes to exploitation. There is magalomania , conciet , greed and ‘self-interest’ – now-a-days they all go by a single phrase , ‘ National Interest’. what explains a huge Loss making ‘War on Terror’ ? It has cost the US and allies more than 2 Trillion Dollars – wars on Iraq , Afghanistan , when all they had to do was focus on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – the two sources of real Terrorism.

    I wonder how , in the present times , any Nation State’s Interest is served , when another nation or another part of the world lives in squalor.

    It is time a truly universal world order comes into effect. Will it ? what will its philosphy be ? The White Christian West wants the whole world to mimic its experiments , its idea of ‘Democracy’ , allow its MNCs to set up shop everywhere. The Islamists everywhere want to see Islam spread all over the world. The Chinese want to do their version of World Domination , on the lines of the British or American Empire.

    And , there is a quiet , more sane , truly universal humanism based on the original esotric teachings to mankind , that is waiting to win and spread light and peace , in the most non-sectarian way – since there is no way the systems built up by the present nation states will give way anything more universal , what we are faced with is a string of conflicts and catastrophies before a truly universal system emerges , if at all.

  11. neeraj sharma says:

    respected sir,
    i have written a movie story, i will be very kind of you if you read it
    kindly let me know where to send it
    thank you

  12. Harb says:

    A film on Pippa Middleton, Kate William sister and history of Elizabeth can repeat itself:

    Pippa Middleton in Bollywood/Hollywoood? http://t.co/Ht5763w

  13. Harb says:

    Hi Shekhar! How is cannes? Got lost? Theres much noise about Unlawful Killing documentary re Diana. Suddenly it seemed the pic I suggested above could make sense. If there was really reincarnation Pippa could’ve been the Diana of the previous life reincarnated to take revenge. May be which is why she got sooo much publicity in this Royal Wedding. Seems more know about Pippa now than Kate, the bride.

  14. Nisarg says:

    How can we reach to your new documentary that u have produced with Rakesh Mehra and showed at Cannes films festival?

  15. shriram sonare says:

    Mr. shekhar,

    Once again Im writting you , I have a script idea for an international film, film tiltle is Slient terrorism via political way this film will be an international background with full action , I dont want to any meeting with you becouse I know your time value but I want to just 5 to 7 minute to describe full script idea on phone. I sure you will get some special in 5 minute. hope you will give me your 5 minute a new creativity will be wait for us. my cell phone no. 9826885061 & mail id : sms_inv@rediffmail.com Regards Shriram Sonare

  16. Glady Altew says:

    Forgive me that I speak, but I expect comments and from those who feel the opposite, I’m curious if it will give birth to a very interesting debate.

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