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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 Rubble
Out of the Rubble
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Out of the Rubble

Short documentary201518 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.

Ladywood Redevelopment
Ladywood Redevelopment
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Ladywood Redevelopment

Non-Fiction19657 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?

New Towns for Old
New Towns for Old
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New 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.

A City Reborn
A City Reborn
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A City Reborn

Documentary194522 mins Location: Coventry

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

Rotherham up to Date
Rotherham up to Date
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Rotherham 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.

Bull Ring Shopping Centre
Bull Ring Shopping Centre
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Bull Ring Shopping Centre

Documentary196525 minsSilent Location: Birmingham

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

Housing Makes History
Housing Makes History
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Housing 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.

Milton Keynes - A Village City
Milton Keynes - A Village City
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Milton 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.

Do Something!
Do Something!
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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.

Squatters
Squatters
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Squatters

Documentary197017 mins Location: Ilford

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

Belfast - No Way Out
Belfast - No Way Out
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Belfast - 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.

Barbican Regained
Barbican Regained
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Barbican Regained

Documentary196317 mins Location: City of London

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