This film is part of Free

Gang Making Railway - South Africa

Working conditions in South Africa before the outbreak of the Boer War

Non-Fiction 1898 2 mins Silent


The amateur footage shot by Robert Mitchell in South Africa in 1898 covers a range of subjects and is equally variable in quality. This is one of the best examples, foregrounding human subjects at work. While technically Mitchell's work suffers from a slow frame rate, the film nevertheless gives us a clear and unadorned picture of the labour required and the workforce employed to create South Africa's late-19th-century infrastructure.