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Spirit of The Downs

average rating is 4 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Jul 1, 2024

Film Reviews
Spirit of The Downs
Directed by:
Steve Nethercott Cable
Written by:
Steve Nethercott Cable

The writer-director Steve Nethercott Cable aims to spread awareness about how humans and the environment can happily coexist in harmony through people of the area and various volunteers from various associations who work towards safeguarding and protecting the natural vegetation.


The plot of Spirit of the Downs revolves around an award-winning short documentary about a successful people- powered campaign to create public access land on ancient threatened Downland at Tenants Hill and Mount Carvey, near Cissbury Ring, West Sussex, UK.


Spirit of the Downs begins with a long tracking shot of natural flowers panning into the natural beauty of the trees and mountains with birds chirping in the background to quickly establish the subject matter as well as allow the audience to engage with the content from the very start. The long shot of news anchor covering the news of campaign is brilliantly incorporated to showcase the popularity. The set design, colour pallet, camera angles, lighting, sound, music, one-to-one interview format for the dialogues, costume, hair, makeup, and props are kept natural to elevate the subject matter, provide depth, realism, and relatability to the narrative that holds immense importance for everyone in the present time as well as for the future too. The writer-director Steve Nethercott Cable along with his creative team has done a brilliant job with the detailed research in terms of the maps, pictures of the protest, posters, and long shots of beautiful shots of vegetation helping the viewers not lose interest in the 21 minutes long documentary.


In terms of performance, the people living in the area are the real heroes along with the experts who helped them with the campaigns giving this mission a lot of their time in order to pursue the goal of enshrining in law that the land should stay in public ownership and become open access so that everyone can enjoy to roam in perpetuity. It took 6 years but the final outcome was a win for all- For the people who love the area, Worthing Town as well as the council. The former committee members and leaders also join hands to protest against the land selling off for building houses on it. The performers as well as the organisers of the music festival also contributed positively towards the campaign. The protests for saving the environment also taught good things to children making them aware as well as motivated to work for it when the time arises.


Spirits of the Downs invites the audience to join them to celebrate the journey they have undertaken to achieve this success story each of them would be proud of. The documentary talks about the patience and perseverance of everybody involved in the campaign despite the struggles as well as the challenges one has to face in the process of achieving success. The cinematic piece also highlights the importance of music and culture in our lives especially when it comes to doing something for the place one lives in or belongs to.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
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