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The Christmas Play
The Christmas Play

The Christmas Play 1959


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The Christmas Play 1959

23 mins United Kingdom

The mischievous participants of this traditional nativity play give it an unusual charm. Amateur director Hazel Swift avoids cloying sentimentality, aiming instead to capture the "electrifying ideal" of creating art. In stark contrast to this progressive atmosphere is the teacher who smilingly blacks a young actor's face for his role as one of the Wise Men - placing the film squarely in its pre-multiculturalist era.

Produced with support from the BFI's Experimental Film Fund, the film marked Swift's first time behind the camera, and her artistic ambitions were relatively grand for such a modest subject. She did acknowledge that the theme of creative production was "so hidden under the straightforward 'play' theme that nobody could possibly be expected to recognise it". Nonetheless, the restrained narration and inventive score by Gordon Jacob lend the film an expressiveness and sense of Yuletide magic.


Nativity plays


Christmas Crackers Shorts




United Kingdom

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