Duncan Pickstock

The project is a study of those who have chosen to fight not because they are compelled to by their country but because they feel that morally they have no alternative. The subjects of the films have all, over the last 70 years, chosen to risk their lives because they felt it was the right thing to do. People like Bob Doyle who joined the IRA as a 16 year old before making his way to Spain in 1936 to join the fight against the fascist insurgency or Stuart Christie who, in 1964 as an 18 year old anarchist, travelled to Spain as part of an attempt to assassinate General Franco. On arrival he was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison for banditry. In the late 60’s and early 70’s The Angry Brigade carried out a series of bombings on the British mainland. Banks, army barracks and the houses of government ministers were all targeted. John Barker was arrested and accused with others of being responsible. in The Angry Brigade Trial of 1972 he was sentenced to 10 years for causing explosions. Lars Newbould was so outraged at what he saw happening in The Balkans in the 1992 that he traveled to Zagreb and joined The Croatian Army to fight The Serbs. These people are not mercenaries, as they are not motivated by the money they could earn, their motives were not so crass and are infinitely more difficult to quantify.
These films are not war stories and have no dramatic tales of daring-do. Instead I have tried to discover what it was that made these individuals choose to take action when so many others choose not to. What makes a person feel so strongly about something that they voluntarily put themselves in harms way in defense of it. These films are non-partisan. I take no side and I make no judgment about the rights and wrongs of the conflicts these people have become involved with. That is not what these visual documents are for. Rather, it is my hope that by listening to these stories we will be able to make connections between the individuals involved and the decisions they made and through those connections we will perhaps achieve a better understanding of those who make the choice to fight for something so much bigger than their

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