This film is part of Free

Farewell Topsails

Humphrey Jennings’ once-lost film, initiated as an experiment in the use of Dufaycolor, records one of the last voyages of a commercial sailing ship.

Travelogue 1937 9 mins


This impression of the farewell voyage of a commercial sailing ship, as it transports kaolin cargo from Cornwall through to London, was only attributed relatively recently to the filmography of Humphrey Jennings whom many consider Britain’s greatest documentary filmmaker.

Initiated as a modest experiment in the use of the colour film stock called Dufaycolor (more often used by amateur filmmakers), it was one of the three Jennings projects using the process at the time (the others being Design for Spring (aka Making Fashion) and two films, English Harvest and The Farm, produced from the same footage). Farewell Topsails is also available on the BFI DVD collection Land of Promise: The British Documentary Movement 1930-1950.