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4 Best Movies & Mini-Series for Bonfire Night!

by Eve Andrews
bonfire night

A classic British festival that is centuries old, bonfire night remains an annual Autumn staple for many. But sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. Maybe your local fireworks festival got cancelled, you’re sick, or you just don’t like the cold. Or, most likely, Britain has thrown its usual spanner in the works – it’s raining. Not ideal for a bonfire. Whatever the reason, if you happen to be stuck inside this Guy Fawkes night, we’ve got you covered. Here are 4 movies and mini-series to keep the spirit alive this November 5th!

1) V For Vendetta (2006)

Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, V For Vendetta is a great seasonal film for all you fellow comic fans! It tells the futuristic tale of a mysterious, masked freedom fighter known as V, who claps back against an oppressive, totalitarian Britain using tactics resembling those of Guy Fawkes. In a mission to bring down the government, a young girl named Evey finds herself dragged into these seemingly nefarious schemes. A gripping depiction of a dystopian London, V For Vendetta is packed with pleasing historical parallels relating to the infamous gunpowder plot and the political climate that provoked it. With its stellar cast, epic cinematography, and vivaciously lyrical script, V For Vendetta is the perfect November 5th popcorn-fest!

2) Gunpowder (2017)

V For Vendetta tells a radically sensationalised, modern interpretation of the events surrounding Britain’s November 5th. Gunpowder, on the other hand, is a much more down-to-earth representation. While creative liberties have been taken, this three-episode mini-series is a dramatic reenactment of historical events, detailing the conception of the gunpowder plot right through to its ultimate consequences. While Guy Fawkes is most commonly associated with these events, Gunpowder takes a different route by having the chief instigator, Robert Catesby, as the central character. A dramatised look into the private planning among conspirators, Gunpowder offers a unique window into both the lead-up and aftermath of the infamous events.

3) Gunpowder, Treason & Plot (2004)

Similar to Gunpowder, this entry details the broader history of what led to the political climate that provoked the notorious plot. But every side has two stories, and while Gunpowder tells that of the aggressors, Gunpowder, Treason & Plot covers both ends of the spectrum, devoting equal time to the story of the plotters, as well as what went on behind the scenes of the monarchy. This two-episode mini-series focuses on the bloody reigns of the Scottish Royals that eventually led to the ascension of King James I of England in 1603 and how the laws of his reign provoked his Catholic citizens to take such drastic measures. A gorgeously frightening costume drama, Gunpowder, Treason & Plot offers a unique dual insight into the historical significance of Britain’s November 5th.

4) Macbeth (1606)

This one may seem surprising at first, with the work of William Shakespeare being more commonly associated with the Elizabethan era. However, he was still very active within the first decade of James I’s reign. And fun fact: the famously spooky play, Macbeth, was a direct response to the gunpowder plot commissioned from Shakespeare by the royal court themselves. It follows the story of Macbeth, a treasonous Thane of Scotland who conspires with his wife to murder their King so that he might take the crown. However, after the deed is done and the plan successfully executed, the realm starts to rot, while Macbeth and his wife go slowly insane from guilt before eventually meeting a grim fate befitting of their crimes. A political commentary on the dangers of murdering a ruler, Macbeth was, in its day, a sharply shocking piece on the latest current events. One of the most frequently adapted plays in human history; there are plenty of amazing cinematic versions to choose from!

What will you be doing this November 5th? Will you be out watching fireworks with bonfires and toffee apples, or would you rather be inside with snacks and a movie? Share your plans in the comment section below!

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