This film is part of Free

Eric Russell Personal Film - Coventry

The surreal presence of barrage balloons on the Coventry skyline gives this home movie an end-of-an-era feel.

Amateur film 1936 11 mins Silent


The rather avant-garde approach to editing in this film, intercutting the sad-sack presence of barrage balloons with rugby and football matches, actually gives a great sense of how surreal and quietly alarming their arrival on the skyline on the eve of WWII must have been. The montage technique may be more down to accident than Eisenstein, as the sequences of the film are out of chronology.

The balloons and football match are at Coventry’s War Memorial park, while the rugby match is at Caundon Road. The scenes on the canal were taken in and around Long Itchington in Warwickshire, and the family believe the roadside picnic took place in a lane close to the nearby village of Boscote. The photogenic Gloucester villages of Moreton-in-Marsh and Bourton-on-the-Water were outings of the Coventry Photographic Club, of which the filmmaker was Vice President.