This film is part of Free

Fatima's Letter

A woman remembers her past while travelling on the London Underground

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1992 20 mins


A personal documentary around journeys, memories and watching: a woman remembers her past by faces she sees while travelling on the London Underground. She begins to believe that these people, like her, have all taken part in the same event. The story, which takes the form of a letter to her friend Fatima, is spoken in Urdu with subtitles in English, although the subtitles do not always appear in conjunction with what is spoken. Syed expresses the dislocation of the diasporic experience while questioning the role of language in structuring power relations between class, race and gender.

Founded in 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative started life at Better Books, a counter-culture bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where a group led by poet Bob Cobbing and filmmakers Stephen Dwoskin and Jeff Keen met to screen films. Initially inspired by the activities of the New American Cinema Group in New York, the London Co-op grew into a pioneering organisation that incorporated a film workshop, cinema space and distribution office. During its four-decade history, the Co-op played a crucial role in establishing film as an art form in the UK and participated in a vibrant international film scene. This BFI Player collection brings together new scans of films distributed by and/or produced at the London Co-op.