Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What a Life

What A Life! from Clive Parkinson on Vimeo.
On 15 February 1949, the Conservative MP for Twickenham, Edward Keeling asked the President of the Board of Trade in the House of Commons.

"Has the Lord President seen this film? Does he know that it shows two men so depressed by the conditions of life the in England today that they try to drown themselves, but make a mess of it? Does he really think that this is the sort of film on which £9,000 of taxpayers' money should be spent?"

This Richard Massingham film is a bizarre contribution from the Crown Film Unit, and addresses the challenges Britain faced in the austere post-war era. Wartime enthusiasm and self-confidence had become seriously eroded by the crisis-laden year of 1947. Domestically, the continuation of rationing, including for the first time bread (between 1946-48) and the fuel and economic crises, together with Indian independence, 1947 was largely a year that dented the immediate post war assurances.

Please enjoy this post-war austerity film and its relevance today!