Explore archive films
See shorts and features, showing the best from the BFI, national and regional archives - including 120 years of Britain on film
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Watch thousands of beautifully preserved films, capturing our lives and our stories over 120 years. Search by location to find films about places that mean the world to you.
What we're watching
Shiraz: A Romance of India
Historical drama1928106 mins
This epic silent film, telling the ravishing, romantic story behind the Taj Mahal, has been newly restored with a sumptuous new score from Anoushka Shankar.
Morecambe and Wise - Be Wise Don't Drink and Drive
Public Information Filler19631 mins
Ernie tells Eric to ‘be wise’ and not drive home after their Christmas party
Word of Mouth
Trips to the dentist are reimagined as Hellraiser-style horrors in this film aimed at helping dentists allay their patients’ fears.
Public Information Filler19671 mins
A brief plea for the public not to waste doctors’ time requesting medicines easily obtainable from chemists.
Amateur film19764 mins
From the decade that style forgot - it's the 1976 Portsmouth and Southsea Pram-Olympics!
The Quiet Land
Travelogue197423 mins Location: Lough Erne
A rare portrait of Northern Ireland in a time of conflict as “a land where the pace of life is more friendly, where everybody cares and nobody minds”.
Tribe of the Sun
The ill-fated dreams of Sid Rawls’ band of ‘ultra hippies’ attempting a self-sufficient communal life on John Lennon’s ‘Beatle Island’.
Documentary198423 mins Location: Newark-on-Trent
From shire horses to the Royal Marines, welcome to the annual Newark Show. A serious business for the farming community, with prizes to win and 800 gallons of beer to be drunk.
Getting It Straight in Notting Hill Gate
Documentary197025 mins Location: Notting Hill
Spaced-out sitar music and the prog rock grooves of Quintessence soundtrack this psychedelic flashback to Notting Hill Gate in 1970.
Partying like it's 1997. We follow a rave DJ instigator rigging up decks in abandoned warehouses, a nosebleed 'techno tourist' who chases the hardcore around Europe and a girl addicted to... partying.
Blowing Up the Dales
Documentary198726 mins Location: Ribblehead
The pros and cons of quarrying in national parks, and the irony of a state of affairs where what aids the enjoyment of landscape also destroys it.
Somewhere in Hackney
Documentary198050 mins Location: Hackney
An entertaining study of community arts projects in Hackney, Hoxton and Dalston, before hipsters and Tony Blair.