This is a spiky and uncompromising non-fiction feature: part-biography, part-documentary, part-history, and part elegy to a dying landscape. It's structured around five years in the life of Shirley Butts, a union convener who, as the film opens, loses first her job, and consequently her union card. The effect that this has on her life is then used as an opportunity to study the political and social history of the Cardiff working class area where she lives. Made by the independent Cinema Action collective, So That You Can Live avoids nudging its audience towards any facile political conclusion, however. Instead, the technical presentation of the film is used to destroy the illusion that this is a 'story' with a 'message', and to force the audience to make up its own mind.
Cast and crew