This film is part of Free

Kensington Calling!

This emotive campaign film takes a stand against the dire housing conditions in North Kensington, where rats, damp and overcrowding shame the borough.

Documentary 1930 8 mins Silent


This emotive film was produced by the Kensington Housing Trust to campaign against the dire housing conditions in North Kensington - where vermin, damp and overcrowding made for unsanitary and uncomfortable living for working class people. Some stark images shame the cramped and unhygienic state of the Victorian terraces: a sick baby, a carpenter making a tiny coffin, a dead rat held by its tail.

The film makes ingenious use of animation techniques too. The strapline with moving text at the bottom of the screen is a surprising precursor to contemporary television style. And the swimming jumble of animated numbers which reveals the astonishing number of residents to a single house is reminiscent of Norman McLaren's inventive and acclaimed animation.