This film is part of Free

The Turn of the Tide

Hunger marchers demonstrate and the London season opens: the contrast between rich and poor in 1930s Britain

Documentary 1934 12 mins Silent


This vivid amateur film sees hunger marchers tramping through the countryside to London, carrying placards with demands such as "Restore the cuts." There was a series of hunger marches in Britain in the 1930s, the best known being the Jarrow March in 1936. In stark contrast to the scenes of protest, though, is an intertitle announcing that "The London Season Opens; the Most Brilliant Since the War." The film appears to emphasise the scale of the chasm between rich and poor in 1930s Britain, rather than being "A film of Britain's recovery", as the opening title optimistically proclaims.

This film was made by Matthew Nathan, a prolific and prize winning amateur filmmaker. His films Village Life in Somerset (1934) and LCC Nursery School (1938) are also available to watch on BFI Player.