Britain on Film: Out of the Rubble

Penny Woolcock’s Out of the Rubble is an archive documentary compiled from films digitised for our Britain on Film project. Here we present Woolcock’s work alongside the original films that inspired it.

Using a wealth of footage from around the country, Out of the Rubble examines the contentious and potent history of housing in the UK.

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Out of the RubbleOut of the Rubble

Short documentary201618 mins

Visionary filmmaker Penny Woolcock explores half a century of British urban life using films digitised for Britain on Film, the archive project from BFI and its partner archives.

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Ladywood RedevelopmentLadywood Redevelopment

News19657 mins Location: Ladywood

The tattered wallpaper of part demolished housing contrasts with gleaming new tower blocks. Ladywood in Birmingham may be on the up but what about the forgotten people?

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New Towns for OldNew Towns for Old

Documentary19426 mins Location: Sheffield

Sheffield stands in as 'Smokedale', an industrial Everytown, in this stirring call for "new schools, new hospitals, new roads, new life", after WWII.

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A City RebornA City Reborn

Documentary194522 mins Location: Coventry

Coventry prepares to rise from the ashes of WWII in this docu-drama written by Dylan Thomas.

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Rotherham up to DateRotherham up to Date

Promotional196139 mins Location: Rotherham

An absorbing picture of council services at the beginning of the 1960s, with babies getting polio jabs and girls having braces fitted, while Roots is playing at the Civic Theatre.

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Bull Ring Shopping CentreBull Ring Shopping Centre

Documentary196526 minsSilent Location: Birmingham

A bright and breezy promotional tour of Brum's original mega-mall.

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Housing Makes HistoryHousing Makes History

Campaigning film195318 mins Location: Barnet

Residents of Barnet and Stockton-on-Tees are the lucky beneficiaries of a government scheme to remedy Britain’s housing problem.

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Milton Keynes - A Village CityMilton Keynes - A Village City

Cinemagazine19738 mins Location: Milton Keynes

"The most exciting thing going on in Europe, if not the world": welcome to Milton Keynes circa 1973.

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Do Something!Do Something!

Current affairs197027 mins Location: Islington

This Week investigates how racial tensions in Islington are being stoked by social pressures, and what residents are doing to improve the area.

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Documentary197017 mins Location: Ilford

To the front line of London's early 1970s' housing crisis in this angry campaign film.

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Belfast - No Way OutBelfast - No Way Out

Current affairs197027 mins Location: Belfast

What was life really like in 1970s Belfast? Beyond the Troubles, This Week talks to people in poverty struggling to cope in the city.

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Barbican RegainedBarbican Regained

Documentary196317 mins Location: City of London

Fascinating look at the Barbican – before it became the brutalist icon we know today.