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The last of the history men

Stephen Poliakoff is the only remaining dramatist exploring the recent British past. We need work like his to help us examine ourselves and our country

By David Herman   December 2009

Romola Garai as Anne and Eddie Remayne as Ralph in Stephen Poliakoff’s new film Glorious 39

Near the beginning of Stephen Poliakoff’s new film, Glorious 39, a boy goes to see two old men. “What do you want to ask both of us, Michael?” says one. The boy pulls out a family album and starts turning the pages. “I am very interested in history,” he says. No British filmmaker or writer of his generation is more interested in history than Poliakoff. It has been the subject of his best work, not only his latest film but also his great…

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