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3rd April 2020

MANIFF 2020: Mosley

The documentary, screened as part of Manchester Film Festival, on the son of the former leader of the British Union of Fascists offers a slightly one-sided insight into his life, writes Katie Swift
MANIFF 2020: Mosley
Photo: Robin S. Taylor @Wikimedia Commons

Max Mosley, son of Oswald Mosley – former leader of the British Union of Fascists, has been a subject of controversy quite literally from his birth.

In Michael Shevloff’s latest documentary, Mosley, we see that despite Mosley’s attempts to separate himself from the shadow of controversy he was born, into he cannot seem to escape it.

The film, composed entirely of interviews, offers insights into a range of areas in Mosley’s life. We follow his success in co-founding March Engineering and within the Formula One Constructors’ Association (FOCA) and the FIA – the governing body for Formula One – that he eventually became president of. There is also a strong focus on Mosley’s efforts to promote increased safety in motor racing and automobile production in general.

Alongside this, the film also explores the more controversial and personal aspects of Mosley’s life – the struggles he faces being in the constant shadow of his father’s legacy, the death of his son and of course his infamous legal battles with the News of the World and other similar news organisations.

Although the film takes an informative approach, presumably in an attempt to avoid any bias, it does seem to sympathise with Mosley’s character. Whether this is a natural consequence of Mosley’s manner, or a result of the director’s portrayal, is a matter of opinion.

However, the film definitely seems to highlight Mosley’s positive contributions and successes whilst offering only his side of the story to his more controversial cases. As a result, whilst the documentary offers an informative insight into Mosley’s life, both the good and the bad, it lacks a certain character study that would perhaps have added some substance to the film.


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