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  • Lindsay Anderson Every Day Except Christmas 1957

    Lindsay Anderson
    Every Day Except Christmas 1957

    © British Film Institute

  • Karel Reisz We Are the Lambeth Boys 1959

    Karel Reisz
    We Are the Lambeth Boys 1959

    © British Film Institute

  • Ken Loach Cathy Come Home 1966

    Ken Loach
    Cathy Come Home 1966

    © British Film Institute

Lindsay Anderson

Every Day Except Christmas 1957
40 min
Collection: BFI National Film and Television Archive

Karel Reisz

We Are the Lambeth Boys 1959
52 min
Collection: BFI National Film and Television Archive

Ken Loach

Cathy Come Home 1966
77 min
Collection: BFI National Film and Television Archive

Ken Loach’s television play about homelessness Cathy Come Home 1966 is a complex hybrid of drama and documentary forms. The story, while fictional, was based on methodical research on homelessness and young families in Britain and the stylistic devices that Loach employed (such as location shooting and action led camera) were deliberately borrowed from documentary to lend an increased sense of reality to the dramatisation. Cathy Come Home contributed decisively to the debate about the power of television in raising public awareness and the ambiguities surrounding such hybrid forms, including questions of truth and partiality.

Patrick Donnellan

The Colony 1964
57 min
Collection: BFI National Film and Television Archive

Filmed in a variety of locations in Birmingham, The Colony 1964 was the first television documentary to give a voice to working class Caribbean settlers. The participants speak intelligently and articulately about their experiences of Britain. Importantly, the diversity of their experience and the views they express demonstrates the absurdity of Caribbean immigrants from different countries and very different backgrounds being seen as a single group. The Colony is a remarkable example of how documentary can provide space in the public sphere for unheard or misrepresented voices and so challenge dominant biases within society and the media.