Britain Through A Lens
The bonus of screening a BBC documentary is that before the film even begins there is a certain assurance of quality. BRITAIN THROUGH A LENS is yet another example of this. Originally screened on BBC Four back in July of this year, the documentary charts the growth of the pioneering British Documentary Movement, examining their motivation, funding and eventual demise. The famous ‘inform, educate and entertain’ values of the BBC can still be seen as of paramount importance. The film intelligently tracks the documentary movement, investigating the key players, dates and films in an entirely educational program.
As an addition to the documentary, three Humphrey Jennings films from within the British Documentary Movement were also screened. Lovingly restored and digitally converted, the three films have never looked better, any signs of ageing removed by the high definition restoration. Despite being from a WWII era, each of the films has such an enjoyable, gentle humour, and each is truly entertaining to watch, regardless of age. A particular highlight of the three films is THE FARM. The visuals are simple and the narrative only observes the farm lifestyle, but the combination of music and voiceover adds a brilliant level of humour to the film.
This combined screening of documentary and short WWII films worked well for the audience, as a collection of intelligent and engaging material supported by a wealth of information.
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