Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

The Spirit of '45: Film and debate

logo filmhuis den haag

The Dutch welfare state is under discussion. Eldery people believe they built the welfare state after the Second World War and that it is dismantled in the last few years. This leads to discussions about the current pension system, the costs of health care and about, for example, the access to education.

During his annual speech in September, the Dutch King stated that the welfare state should be adjusted to the present time. The classical welfare state will slowly transform into a 'participation society'. What does the transition from the welfare state to a participation society mean for local governments? What can they do make sure that people get more in touch with their social environment? And what will the welfare state look like in the future?

The documentary of director Ken Loach 'The Spirit of '45' was shown at Filmhuis, The Hague on Tuesday the 10th of December 2013. Afterwards, there was a debate between Arno Rutte, Bart van Kent, Menno Hurenkamp and Frans Bromet. The moderator of the debate was Frits Bloemberg. The movie was in English, the debate in Dutch.



Photo impression

From left to right: Bart van Kent, Frans Bromet, Arno Rutte and Menno Hurenkamp.
Bart van Kent
Frans Bromet
Arno Rutte and Menno Hurenkamp
Bart van Kent, Frans Bromet and Arno Rutte
The audience listens attentively
The audience wants to ask questions.
The audience listens attentively


The Spirit of '45

A documentary about the British post-war politics and the creation and dismantling of the welfare state.

1945 was a pivotal year in British history. The unity that carried Britain through the war allied to the bitter memories of the inter-war years led to a vision of a better society. The spirit of the age was to be our brother’s and our sister’s keeper.

Director Ken Loach has used film from Britain’s regional and national archives, alongside sound recordings and contemporary interviews, to create a rich political and social narrative. The Spirit of ’45 hopes to illuminate and celebrate a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK, the impact of which endured for many years and which may yet be rediscovered today.


More information

For more information, please contact Nicole Segers or Myriam van Dorp via