This film is part of Free

Contrasts in Kensington

Shocking scenes of Kensington slums and 1930s housing developments offer a sharp contrast with today's reinvented area.

Amateur film 1937 11 mins Silent


Insects living in damp, cracked walls. No running water in the home and an outdoor toilet. Broken windows and rising rents. Tuberculosis. Thankfully these are not rampant problems in the Kensington area today, due in part to the good work of organisations like the Kensington Housing Trust in creating decent affordable housing. Social and demographic shifts mean the area is almost unrecognisably affluent today in comparison with the slum conditions seen in this well-made amateur documentary.

This film was produced by the amateur filmmaking group Ace Movies and sponsored by the Kensington Housing Trust. The use of a non-professional set-up gives it a greater degree of access and intimacy with its subjects than professional films. Also available on BFI Player is Kensington Calling!, also backed by the Housing Trust but produced on professional 35mm film.