Win: DVD & book to accompany the BFI's Boom Britain project
The BFI has just launched Boom Britain: documenting the nation’s life on film, a landmark project that will transform our understanding of British documentary cinema post-1945 and promises to be a revelation. New prints of many titles, newly restored by the BFI National Archive, will offer a fascinating view of British life which has been all but edited out of history – until now.
Boom Britain grants a lost generation of post-war British documentaries their rightful place in history. Over two years in the making, this ground-breaking project examines social, industrial and
environmental topics more resonant today than ever as Britain copes with recession and the Government’s vision for a ‘Big Society’.
The project includes an accompanying new book Shadows of Progress (BFI Publications and Palgrave Macmillan), a national touring programme in cinemas nationwide, a four disc DVD box set, screenings at BFI Southbank with many film-maker guests and a BFI Mediatheque programme.
Many of these films have a surprising topicality in their subjects: the boundless possibilities of science and technology; the power of education; the beauty of industrial machinery; what to do about the care of the elderly; pioneering statements on women’s rights, mental health and children’s welfare; the rise of environmentalism; the balance of state and industry, individual and community; a nation and a world travelling from bust to boom and back again.
This is a world of great and enduring character studies which will leave few unmoved: the delights of an evening at Queenie Watts’ London pub, the last night of the London trams, the opening of a secondary modern school, a 50s seaside knees-up, the glories of a modern steel foundry or the first steps in film-making by Lindsay Anderson shown in rarely-seen films for industrial sponsors. The early warnings of ecological disaster sponsored by global industrial corporations are starkly prophetic of our world and its future. Nostalgia is leavened with social history and a vivid sense of both how far we have come and just how many social and inherently political issues remain unresolved, whoever is in power.