British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Shadows of Progress: Documentary Film in Post-War Britain 1951-1977

Synopsis
This 4-disc set contains 32 films and brings together for the first time almost 14 hours of film material preserved in the BFI National Archive, telling the previously untold story of British documentary filmmaking through the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Britain emerged from the Second World War a changed country. In an era of inevitable and far-reaching change, the country’s documentary filmmakers set out to engage with the country’s people and places, values and industries in fresh, exciting ways. Out of the shadows cast by the celebrated documentarists of the wartime years, such as Humphrey Jennings and Paul Rotha, emerged the likes of John Krish, Eric Marquis and Derrick Knight, each of whom employed bold and distinctive new techniques in order to tackle an increasingly diverse array of subjects.

This collection redefines the filmmaking of a critical era of Britain’s history. These films and filmmakers have been unjustly overlooked and under-appreciated, yet the films presented here - commissioned by private industry, commercial sponsors, Government departments and independent charities - are every bit as inspired, ground-breaking and indispensable as anything produced by the Free Cinema or British Documentary Movements. Highlights include: TO BE WOMAN (1951) - an argument for equal pay looking at women’s place in society; THE ELEPHANT WILL NEVER FORGET (1953) - an emotive farewell to London’s last tram; the Oscar-winning THURSDAY’S CHILDREN (1954) - a gentle and considered look at educational provision for deaf children; PORTRAIT OF QUEENIE (1964) - a celebratory portrait of Queenie, blues singer and landlady of AN East London pub; TIME OUT OF MIND (1968), a startling, stylistic documentary about mental health; and THE SHADOW OF PROGRESS (1970) a multi-award-winning documentary about the environment. For a full list of titles included see
http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_17997.html

DVD extras include new filmed interviews with some of the directors, and a 100-page illustrated book containing new introductory essays, notes and recollections. Contributors include Lord David Puttnam and historian Dominic Sandbrook.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2010
Availability
Currently UNAVAILABLE
Notes
SHADOWS OF PROGRESS is the companion to the BFI’s previously released DVD LAND OF PROMISE; THE BRITISH DOCUMENTARY MOVEMENT1930-1950
Subjects
Film studies; History
Keywords
documentary films; history of Britain; history of the 20th century; social change; social history

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£34.99
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
830 minutes
Year
2010

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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