“Covid is for a couple of years, Brexit is for life.” So says one of the experts featured in ‘Brexit Through The Non-Political Glass’, a documentary that takes a fresh look at Britain’s once-in-a-generation referendum on Europe. Released on 21 March on academic VOD streaming platform Kanopy – it is already available to view on Amazon, Tubi and Xumo – the film puts politicians and public sentiment to one side, and seeks the opinions of non-partisan, world-class experts.
With the Northern Ireland/EU trade agreement once again in the headlines, this is a timely opportunity to hear from specialist scholars and policy analysts about what Brexit really means. ‘Brexit Through The Non-Political Glass’ covers politics, economics, and the historical, social and cultural aspects of Brexit.
On 1 January 2021, the UK’s transition period with the EU ended and new rules and regulations were agreed at the last minute. This is a time for reflection on the social phenomenon that is Brexit – which has now become a British trademark world-over, alongside the Royal family, fish and chips, and Sherlock Holmes.
Among the experts featured in the documentary are Professor Catherine Barnard from Cambridge University; Oxford University Professor Iyiola Solanke; Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University, London; and Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’s College, London.
Meanwhile Vernon Bogdanor, the Oxford tutor of former British prime minister David Cameron, relays what he told Cameron when he was consulted before the referendum was offered to the nation; it is astonishing to hear what his advice was.
The documentary also puts this ‘latest’ Brexit in its historical context – yes, believe it or not, this is not the first Brexit the UK has experienced; the first Brexit happened 200 years ago. Since then, the UK has had a chequered relationship with Europe, up until joining the European Economic Community in the 1960s.
Unlike transient current affairs and news programmes, this 80-minute documentary takes time to introduce the audience to Brexit’s deeper historical meanings and the multitude of sociological and cultural drivers that caused it. It is a unique approach to examining one of the most important events of our lifetime.
The documentary’s director, Nina Kojima, says: “We are living in strange times where people use apps like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram as their main source of news and media. People have lost trust in editorial sources, which were once thought correct and incorruptible, but are now looked at suspiciously – not just the News of the World saga, but in a wider sense throughout the media.
“Kanopy is a platform that is accessed by intelligent people, staff from libraries and universities. This audience is not fooled by politicians’ lies and they deserve a real, intellectual debate.”Nina Kojima
“This film will satisfy not just scholars but all who are directly affected by this once-in-a-lifetime referendum. Many of us are still looking for the truth and the real debate on Brexit, which left us in circumstances where we are trapped in a financial crisis and never-ending strikes. The interviewees in this documentary are themselves university staff and therefore directly linked to Kanopy.”
Kanopy is an established platform for public libraries and academic institutions, including universities worldwide, and is renowned for its high-quality content library that is specifically curated for an academic audience. This new distribution deal will ensure there is a wider viewership for this relevant and important documentary.
Photo credits: Malcolm Mclean for Partisan Media Limited
Nina Kojima photo credit: Tomo Brejc