As part of the Leeds Film Festival, there has been a screening of the 1975 film about Gerrard Winstanley, 'leader' of The Diggers-an offshoot of The Levellers- who called for and created- after the failure of the Putney Debates- a community based on the idea of "making the earth a common treasury for all, both rich and poor" (it failed within a year, mind).
The film is a moving piece, beautifully executed given the tiny budget, with nature taking centre stage (often drowning out dialogue- which in the spririt of realism, is how it should be). there are clips on the internet too!
This ties in nicely with a current exhibition at the British Library, which we went to last week, an excellent way to while away a few hours- you can see original versions of the Magna Carta, the death warrent of King Charles I- signed and sealed by Cromwell, amongst others, diaries from emprisoned suffregettes and copies of OZ magazine (if that's your bag) amongst other primary documents.
The focus on legal definitions of freedom are somewhat limiting, but, hey, in these times of 'Big Ben British Values', which include imprisonment without trial, it's important, innit.
The irony that the land that the diggers worked (Saint George’s Hill, Cobham, Surrey) is now the home (or one of the homes) of the likes of Elton John, George Michael and wealthy bankers, is not lost.
this page provides some excellent links to further reading