Wednesday 2 March

Tue 1 – Thu 24 March 2016

Each week of the Festival we present a selection of films revealing legacies of the radical British tradition of political documentary. From early films by Paul Rotha, Humphrey Jennings and Lindsay Anderson, through to experimental artist feature films by Peter Gidal, Luke Fowler and Ken McMullen, and campaigning films by Cinema Action and Berwick Street Collective. Special events feature Q&As with curators, filmmakers and activists including David John Douglass, Mark Webber, Ken McMullen and Stuart Brisley.

The films are concerned with political reality by narrating key historical events, exploring tensions between past and present using diverse strategies such as re-enactment, performance, editing of archive footage, self-reflexive interviews and materialist anti-narrative.

Jenning’s The Silent Village re-enacts Nazi destruction in a Welsh mining village; Brownlow’s Winstanley recreates seventeenth-century England and the Diggers; and McMullen’s Resistance takes the French Resistance as its historical focus. Other key moments in British political history feature, such as Marxist historian E.P. Thompson and the Workers’ Education Association, the 1973–4 miners’ strike and the CND march to Aldermaston in 1958.

Finest Hour: Films by Humphrey Jennings

Wed 2 March, 5.45pm (80min)

Tyneside Cinema

Humphrey Jennings is widely considered Britain’s greatest documentary director. In 1937 he founded Mass Observation,... more