This film is part of Free

Out of the Darkness

All-too-topical: a thought-provoking Christian Aid film strongly making the moral case for welcoming refugees to Britain

Documentary 1972 22 mins


All-too-topical: this thought-provoking Christian Aid film strongly makes the moral case for welcoming refugees to Britain. In this case, it’s Bangladesh - East Pakistan until the year before the film was produced - that is the poverty-stricken war-torn region families are fleeing. The style of the film is very much of its time - but its message still hits hard and still hurts.

While the religiosity - and the slightly pompous visual symbolism of certain sequences - won’t appeal to everyone, there’s no doubt that this is impressively hard-hitting stuff for a 1972 charity film. Connections between past imperialism, present upheavals, refugee camps, charity-begins-at-home complacency and actual violent racism are all plain enough. The credits list is worth a mention. The production company headed by Antony Barrier was one of the more adventurous producers of sponsored film in the early 1970s, while director Joe Mendoza was a stalwart of the sponsored documentary scene who had once worked under Humphrey Jennings. Edward Williams contributes a characteristically thoughtful score and actor Eric Porter delivers a poised commentary.