The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Against the Odds The Land Can Provide
By a mixture of bio-dynamics and patience, the co-workers and those with special needs of Botton Village gain satisfaction in eking a living.
From the collection of:
Focusing on the work of the Botton Camphill Village, this Tyne Tees documentary gives a fascinating insight into the ethos of the community, as it was in 1986, taking us into the heart of a deeply significant ongoing debate on the basic principles of care for those with special needs. In the manner in which it films and interviews the residents with special needs, it also highlights issues around the principles that documentaries of this type should adhere to.
This documentary on the Botton Village community comes 13 years after a similar documentary they made in 1973, ‘Against the Odds the Land Can Provide’, and a year after Yorkshire TV’s 1985 film, ‘No Winners, No Losers’. It also makes for an interesting comparison with Phil Turner’s 2005 film of Botton, ‘The Strangest Village in Britain’ for Channel Four, which related quite differently to the residents with special needs. Botton Village continues to be at the centre of a dispute over the relationship of the co-workers to the learning disabled residents: a conflict between the principles of having giant extended families and integrated work versus supported living and personalisation.