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Land of Promise

Land of Promise: The British Documentary Movement 1930 - 1950 is a DVD set that I recently bought. While it's not about KBGS or even Yorkshire, it does give a glimpse into an England of 50-70 years ago. The past definitely is a foreign country. Highly recommended.

More details below. Link here.

These diverse and compelling films are fascinating historical documents, bearing witness to the social and industrial changes of the rapidly changing world. Yet they are also striking in their different approach to the form. Using poetry, dramatic reconstruction, the techniques of modernism and explicit propaganda, the filmmakers found fresh, new ways to get their message across.

Complete film listing:

Disc One
* Industrial Britain (Robert Flaherty, 1931)
* Shipyard (Paul Rotha, 1935)
* Workers and Jobs (Arthur Elton, 1935)
* Housing Problems (Arthur Elton, Edgar Anstey, 1935)
* Children at School (Basil Wright, 1937)
* Farewell Topsails (Humphrey Jennings, 1937)
* Today We Live (Ruby Grierson, Ralph Bond, 1937)
* Eastern Valley (Paul Rotha, Donald Alexander, 1937)
* People of Britain (Paul Rotha, 1936)
* If War Should Come (no director credited, 1939)

Disc Two
* Britain at Bay (Harry Watt, 1940)
* Transfer of Skill (Geoffrey Bell, 1940)
* They Also Serve (Ruby Grierson, 1940)
* Tomorrow is Theirs (James Carr, 1940)
* Words for Battle (Humphrey Jennings, 1941)
* Ordinary People (Jack Lee, J B Holmes, 1941)
* Five and Under (Donald Alexander, 1941)
* Night Shift (J D Chambers, 1942)
* The Countrywomen (John Page, 1942)
* Summer on the Farm (Ralph Keene, 1943)
* Listen to Britain (Humphrey Jennings, Stewart McAllister, 1942)
* Builders (Pat Jackson, 1942)
* Words and Actions (Max Anderson, 1943)
* A Diary for Timothy (Humphrey Jennings, 1946)

Disc Three
* Land of Promise (Paul Rotha, 1946)
* The Balance (Paul Rotha, 1947)
* What a Life! (Michael Law, 194
* The Dim Little Island (Humphrey Jennings, 194
* Britain Can Make It (No 1) (Francis Gysin, 1946)
* Fenlands (Ken Annakin, 1945)
* Children's Charter (Gerard Bryant, 1945)
* Chasing the Blues (J D Chambers, Jack Ellitt, 1947)
* Cotton Come Back (Donald Alexander, 1946)
* Five Towns (Terry Bishop, 1947)

Disc Four
* A Plan to Work On (Kay Mander, 194
* Mining Review 2nd Year No 11 (Peter Pickering, 1949)
* From the Ground Up (no director credited, 1950)
* Transport (Peter Bradford, 1950)
* The Undefeated (Paul Dickson, 1950)
* Family Portrait (Humphrey Jennings, 1950)

Current location (optional) Singapore

Re: Land of Promise

It might be foreign to you Chris but 50-70 yrs ago spans 20 yrs of my formative years. I must lay my hands on this set and see what was going on. Can't have been so different from today , except you could safely walk the streets at night in all the towns and cities. Thanks for drawing our attention to it on the site.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 43-46

Current location (optional) Sassafras , Tasmania

Re: Land of Promise

It's good value for money.

A Diary for Timothy (Humphrey Jennings, 1946) has been on some best-ever documentary lists. However, I prefer less staged ones that show ordinary life.
My favourites are
- Fenlands (Ken Annakin, 1945) about a place near where I grew up.
- Five Towns (Terry Bishop, 1947), about the potteries

The ones about housing and schooling are very good too. They illustrate a strange mix of deprivation and optimism for the future.

Also for someone growing up in the 60s it puts into context many of the attitudes of the times.

btw the smileys in the original text are accidental. They should read 1948.

Current location (optional) Singapore

Re: Land of Promise

Anyone who hasn't yet bought this can get it for about a tenner less at www.Amazon.co.uk. That should appeal to Yorkshire thrift!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-63

Current location (optional) Exeter