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Out of the Rubble
Visionary filmmaker Penny Woolcock explores half a century of British urban life using films digitised for Britain on Film, the archive project from BFI and its partner archives.
Short documentary 2015 18 mins
Out of the Rubble is leading filmmaker Penny Woolcock’s creative response to Britain on Film, the archive project from the BFI in collaboration with regional partners from around the UK. Drawing on archive film digitised under the scheme, much of it unseen for decades, Woolcock explores the history of housing and British urban life over the last half a century, crafting a singular and revelatory short film.
Watch the original films used by Woolcock in our collection - Britain on Film: Out of the Rubble - or explore thousands more films in our Britain on Film map.
Britain on Film: Out of the Rubble
Non-Fiction 1965 7 mins Location: Ladywood
The tattered wallpaper of part demolished housing contrasts with gleaming new tower blocks. Ladywood in Birmingham may be on the up but what about the forgotten people?
Documentary 1942 6 mins Location: Sheffield
Sheffield stands in as 'Smokedale', an industrial Everytown, in this stirring call for "new schools, new hospitals, new roads, new life", after WWII.
Documentary 1945 22 mins Location: Coventry
Coventry prepares to rise from the ashes of WWII in this docu-drama written by Dylan Thomas.
Promotional 1961 39 mins Location: Rotherham
An absorbing picture of council services at the beginning of the 1960s, with babies getting polio jabs and girls having braces fitted, while Roots is playing at the Civic Theatre.
Documentary 1965 26 mins Silent Location: Birmingham
A bright and breezy promotional tour of Brum's original mega-mall.
Campaigning film 1953 18 mins Location: Barnet
Residents of Barnet and Stockton-on-Tees are the lucky beneficiaries of a government scheme to remedy Britain’s housing problem.
1962 12 mins Location: Soho
A children’s guide to bustling Soho, with a glimpse of its music industry, architecture and thriving restaurant scene.
Documentary 1969 25 mins
On release from jail, a man recalls the events leading up to his imprisonment.
1968 78 mins
It’s Britain vs USA in this drama by Dennis Potter as mild-mannered George finds himself in thrall to brash American Sam.
Drama 1968 27 mins
Three women seek the truth about love from a crystal ball in an early Fay Weldon play about trust and jealousy.
Action and Adventure 1955 28 mins
Four village schoolchildren encounter a spot of trouble when some crooks take up residence in the woods.
The one where Lindsay Anderson makes a film about fuel efficiency…