November 3, 2011 SIGHTS ⁄  FILM: HIGH. ON HOPE.

HIGH ON HOPE. In the late 80s, as the country was in the grips of an epic comedown, Northern England’s youth got a second wind…

In his new documentary, High on Hope, Piers Sanderson recounts how, to kids oop north the second summer of love was more than just an opportunity to wear fluorescent flat caps, pop pills like Pringles and rave it out in muddy fields with their whippets. It was an escape from the desperately bleak reality where, in a sweaty, serotonin-drenched mess, they could embrace complete strangers and dream of a utopian future without fear of getting the moustache torn off their face.

Unlike other documentaries on the era, High On Hope swerves a predictable hero-worshipping of Acid House’s musical pioneers and it avoids a lop-sided focus on ecstasy. It gives an intimate insight into the escapism and meaning rave culture gave to a generation of disenfranchised youth through discussions with the people who gave everything, yet expected nothing to make these egalitarian parties happen. It also gives a new, personal edge to the consequences of Thatcher’s moral crusade against Acid Rave.

Much like the early rave scene; High On Hope has been financed by favours, loans, fee-waives and a lot of heart. It’s already the winner of numerous awards on the film festival circuit but its filmmakers are in desperate need of funding to get it to general release. Sticking to Acid House’s DIY, community ideals, a donation system has been set up that will see you repaid with some kind of reward when the film is released. The rewards range from a link to watch it on your computer, to tickets to see it at an independent cinema or even your name in the credits. Now, go and show your support for the cause so we can remind people that caggie is a munt.