The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

The Face of Change
The Face of Change

The Face of Change 1976


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


The Face of Change 1976

26 mins United Kingdom Director. David Williams, Robert Malcolm

"Solutions may not always be easy." This film from British Steel, produced three years into the nationalised corporation's Ten Year Development Strategy, is the work of a major industry responding to recession with contraction - at a human cost. Many places on the UK metals map are cited: Redcar, Hartlepool, Scunthorpe, and above all Ebbw Vale, a plant facing partial closure where much of the film is shot.

As the corporate communication of an industry in difficulty, this fascinating film has a tricky balancing act on its hands. It aims to be frank with its viewers, to acknowledge their scepticism and even hostility, but at the same time to give them hope by extolling measures in place to assist affected staff via employment counselling and re-training. With its low-key televisual production style, and downbeat images of huge cooling towers being demolished, The Face of Change feels unmistakeably autumnal. We're a world away from the romantic sweep and bombast of the big industrial documentaries of earlier decades (like for instance the 1963/1968 film Listen to Steel - also on BFI Player - made for the industry by the same production company, Interfilm).

Directed by

David Williams

Robert Malcolm


David Williams




British Steel Steel Redundancy Business closure


Steel on Film




United Kingdom



Read lessRead more


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later