This film is part of Free

Unfolding

A council launderette as a site of oppression and possible resistance

1987 15 mins

Overview

Unfolding depicts the gendered space of the launderette as both a site of oppression and possible resistance. “I was interested in making a film about women’s work spaces; the launderette is a functional space, but it is also a place where women meet socially. I got to know the women, took my Bolex (a wind-up camera) and after a while I felt comfortable enough to start filming. It made me aware of the way in which documentaries can be a form of control. On the one hand, it was a straightforward documentary and, on the other, it questioned my role as maker. It took a long time to make and was extremely rigorous.” (Alia Syed)

Founded in 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative started life at Better Books, a counter-culture bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where a group led by poet Bob Cobbing and filmmakers Stephen Dwoskin and Jeff Keen met to screen films. Initially inspired by the activities of the New American Cinema Group in New York, the London Co-op grew into a pioneering organisation that incorporated a film workshop, cinema space and distribution office. During its four-decade history, the Co-op played a crucial role in establishing film as an art form in the UK and participated in a vibrant international film scene. This BFI Player collection brings together new scans of films distributed by and/or produced at the London Co-op.