This film is part of Free
Twenty-four Square Miles
For an impression of what life was like in rural Oxfordshire in the mid-1940s, look no further than this documentary
This film is a good example of how one of Britain's pioneering women documentary directors, Kay Mander, was able to skilfully convert a relatively dry sponsor's brief into an engaging viewing experience. For an impression of what life was like in rural Oxfordshire in the mid-1940s look no further than Twenty-four Square Miles.
The film helped inform country planning in the area. In 1944 Kay Mander and her husband, the producer Rowan (Rod) Neilson Baxter, established Basic Films to specialise in educational and science documentaries, including this one. It's testament to Kay Mander's talent and tenacity that, as a married woman, she was able to negotiate a career in documentary across the 1940s and 50s. At that time it was the norm for women to stop working when they married. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.