Beast of Bolsover gets the big screen treatment

Written by James Millar on 18 July 2017 in Culture

Release date announced for a movie about Commons stalwart Dennis Skinner

Dennis Skinner, the long serving MP known as the 'beast of Bolsover' is to be the subject of a feature length film tracking his rise from miner and local councillor to becoming one of the nation's best known MPs.

'Nature of the Beast' is set for release in September after a crowdfunding campaign raised enough cash to finish the project.

It was started by filmmaker Daniel Draper after he interviewed Skinner for a previous piece about classic socialist novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist. Draper then persuaded Skinner, MP for Bolsover for 47 years and a noted fan of the films of Woody Allen, to let him make the documentary. 

Initially the project was funded by a small grant from the National Union of Mineworkers and the people working on the project donated their time for free as they followed Skinner around the country. They then launched a crowdfunder to raise money for post-production and to buy in archive film from Skinner's long career. 

The movie has had preview screenings at the East End film festival and the Tolpuddle radical film festival where it's received a warm response. It's set for a wider release on September 8

Skinner's heckles at the Queen's Speech ceremony have almost become part of the constitution so ingrained and anticipated are they. He's been kicked out of the Commons nearly a dozen times for breaking parliamentary rules including calling PM David Cameron 'dodgy Dave' and describing David Owen as a 'pompous sod'.

Daniel Draper, director of Nature of the Beast, said: "Working with Dennis over the last three years has been an absolute joy - to have such access to a political stalwart, to witness his passion first hand and to capture his narrative on film has been an honour. It's important that a portrait of this man exists, and I'm thrilled Dennis trusted me to do it."  



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