Britain • 25m
Directed by Robert Vas • Documentary • 1959 • 27 minutes
Director Robert Vas was himself a refugee from Hungary, having arrived in London only three years earlier when he received a grant from the BFI to make the film. Despite its slightly incongruous use of voiceover, the film was adopted by the Free Cinema movement for its stylistic contrast of contradictory images and sound and its focus on the dispossessed.
With its enquiry into themes that are just as resonant in today’s society, and its uncompromising outsider’s view of an inhospitable 1950s London, Refuge England is a fascinating example of Free Cinema. Director Vas went on to become a very important documentary maker at the BBC.
Up Next in Britain
Directed by David Bairstow • Documentary • 1951 • 54 minutes
A documentary account of the five-week visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Canada and the United States in the fall of 1951 includes the pageantry of Québec City; the National War Memorial in Ottawa; the Trenton Ai...
Sierra Leone Greets the Queen
Directed by T. Cummins • Documentary • 1961 • 22 minutes
Record of the royal visit by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to Sierra Leone between 25th November and 1st December 1961. The Royal yacht Britannia arrives in Freetown. Formal greeting from dignitaries including the Prime Minister Sir...
Directed by Lorenza Mazzetti • Documentary • 1956 • 52 minutes
Italian director Lorenza Mazzetti borrowed techniques from the neorealist school to conjure this striking study of East End life, one of the original Free Cinema shorts. Following the ambling existence of two deaf-mute dock workers, ...