The infamous bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War, commemorated by Picasso's famous painting, led directly to the evacuation of four thousand Basque children to Britain. It was the largest single influx of refugees ever to arrive in this country and the first to consist solely of children. The British Government did not want them here - so it was that an enormous voluntary organisation stepped in to care for the children - much to the annoyance of the Government! Everybody expected their stay to be brief, but the conflict dragged on. By the end of the Spanish Civil War many of the children literally had nothing and nobody to return to and remained in Britain for a lifetime. This is the story of the Basque children - of those that returned to Spain and those that made Britain their home. It is the story of a remarkable grass-roots organisation that cared for them and the conflict it generated with a British Government which saw the children as a political embarrassment.
In this R.T.S. award-winning documentary film, eye witness accounts are mixed with expert analysis, dramatic reconstruction and previously un-screened archive footage to tell the story of The Guernica Children. The film screening will be followed by a Q&A including the film's director Steve Bowles, Simon Martinez from the Basque Children's Association and Mike Brown from CLEAR - a human-rights organisation working with asylum-seekers and refugees in Southampton today.
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