This film is part of Free

Song of the Woods

You can almost hear the wind in the trees, the gurgling water and the bells for Evensong in this beautifully shot film from Frank Barnitt

Amateur film 1937 12 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This beautifully composed film from Frank Barnitt starts with sunlit woods and streams. Shots of clouds and lakes, framed by branches are followed by scenes showing cattle and a quiet village church. Then we see fallow deer in a woodland glade, swans and a single leaf on water. Switching to Dufaycolour, we see more details of trees, foliage and spiders before visiting anglers at a wier pool. We end with horses ploughing a field and a sunset amongst the conifers.

Frank Perrin Barnitt was a Tunbridge Wells solicitor who was also a highly skilled photographer and amateur film maker. Many of his films feature the natural world and range from poetical films about the land, traditional farming and rural handicrafts to natural history films on a microscopic level. In each of these films, Barnitt displays a high degree of technical skill as well as directorial ability as well as an ongoing enthusiasm for narrative film making. His ability to capture beautifully composed shots is a special feature of this particular film. On his retirement in 1945, Barnitt moved to Oulton Broad in Suffolk.