This film is part of Free

Paradox City

A call to action contrasting the grand homes of the wealthy with "the appalling shelter of thousands of decent citizens" in London slums.

Documentary 1934 23 mins Silent


A call to action, this film juxtaposes shots of the opulent homes of "the favoured few" with views of slums in Somers Town. Its style was probably inspired by the montage technique used by Soviet filmmakers of the 1920s, such as Eisenstein. The use of questions in the intertitles ("What chance has she?") demands audience engagement - a confrontational approach which is unusual for the period.

This film was produced by the St Pancras House Improvement Society which was prolific in its use of film as a fundraising tool, making over 20 films. It was vigorous in using shock tactics too - see also Challenge - War on Slums (1941). It later became the St Pancras Housing Association, and is now Origin Housing.