The Brave Don’t Cry

Draft Review by Dean Duncan May 29, 2015

Very admirable and moving docudrama, British style, which means that unlike much excellent similar stuff in the States at the time, there’s much more than just locations and authentic faces decoratively arranged, here they leave the tabloid brashness and crashness aside and lovingly sketch the details and the characters, slowing things down so that dramatic events are presented as part of a larger pattern of work and want, fellowship and dignity (cf. video of Caitlin eating the banana), this way the headline isn’t just an excuse to visit picturesque poverty, from which the sensational elements are extracted without bothering to illuminate or respect the lives that go on before and after and beyond whatever disaster brought the filmmakers in the first place (cf. Ace in the Hole), here there’s heroism but with human dimension, and though there’s romantism too, it’s definitely of that good Drifters variety, and not the sort that distorts into unrecognizability; quite terrifying how the hill caves in, sans fanfare and all cut with fateful dispassion, effective how the missing Dad, whom we never do see, is set up as the faithful and honourable working ideal, his non-presence very gently suggests that, Seawards-like, we’ll not support his like again, the final kiss, between the brash miner and his little son, ranks up there in fire and fervour with Chaplin and Coogan in The Kid, as in the face of family ties, conventional passions become quite adolescent and silly