British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Land of Promise: The British Documentary Movement 1930 - 1950

Synopsis
A collection of 40 films from the British documentary movement during its period of greatest influence. These films capture the spirit and strength, concerns and resolve of Britain and its people before, during and after the Second World War. Many of them are made available here for the first time since their original release.

The films are fascinating historical documents, bearing witness to the social and industrial transformations of the rapidly changing world. Yet they are also striking in their different approach to the form. Using poetry, dramatic reconstruction, modernist techniques and explicit propaganda, the filmmakers found fresh, new ways to get their message across. The collection contains both classic documentaries and lesser-known films by Paul Rotha, Arthur Elton, Basil Wright and Humphrey Jennings, amongst others. Full title listing are available online on the BFI Filmstore website: http://filmstore.bfi.org.

Among the many themes that the films cover are the experiences of ordinary people during the War, particularly the British housewife; health and child welfare; social housing; education reform and industrial development.

DVD extras include: CLOSE UP: RECOLLECTIONS OF BRITISH DOCUMENTARY (40 mins) - new interviews with directors Pat Jackson, Peter Bradford, Peter Pickering and Paul Dickson, and with cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky; JOHN GRIERSON AT THE NFT (1959, 13 mins)
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2008
Year of production
1930 1950
Notes
A companion compilation SHADOWS OF PROGRESS: DOCUMENTARY FILMS IN POST-WAR BRITAIN 1951-1977 was released by the BFI in 2010 as part of its ‘Boom Britain’ season
Subjects
Film studies; History
Keywords
archive films; documentary films; Grierson, John (1898-1972); history of the 20th century; social history; World War II; History of Great Britain

Credits

Director
Arthur Elton; Basil Wright; Humphrey Jennings; Paul Rotha

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£34.99
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
720 minutes
Year
2008

Distributor

Name

BFI Video

Email
video.films@bfi.org.uk
Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7957 8957
Fax
020 7957 8968
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN
 

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