Reel History of Britain (2011– )

TV Series  |   |  Documentary
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Melvyn Bragg takes a restored 1967 Bedford mobile cinema around the country, showing excerpts from historical documentary films that record British life. It includes interviews with people ... See full summary »

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1  
2011  
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Cast

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Melvyn Bragg ...
 Himself - Presenter (20 episodes, 2011)
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Melvyn Bragg takes a restored 1967 Bedford mobile cinema around the country, showing excerpts from historical documentary films that record British life. It includes interviews with people who lived through the times and, in some cases, are featured in the films. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary

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5 September 2011 (UK)  »

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[introduction to each episode]
Melvyn Bragg: Just over a century ago, the motion camera was invented. It changed forever the way we recall our history. For the first time, we could see life through the eyes of ordinary people. Across this series, we'll bring these rare archive films back to life with the help of our vintage mobile cinema. We'll be inviting people with a story to tell to step on board and re-live moments they thought were gone forever. They'll see their relatives on-screen for the first time, ...
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User Reviews

 
Picture of British social history
27 January 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Melvyn Bragg take time out from the South Bank to criss cross Britain in a Bedford van converted into a mobile cinema in the 1960s.

Reel history of Britain was a 20 part documentary series that features archive footage revealing the story of Britain from 1900 to 1970.

Having selected the most pertinent footage the programme makers tracked down people who featured in the clips or relatives of the people who appeared and tell the stories behind the footage. It celebrates British working life from fishing, mining to factory work. The cinema is visited by wartime evacuees, teens from the 1950s and relatives of the Great war soldiers.

The programmes are not in any chronological order but its a good way to use the mobile cinema device and archive footage to reveal historical events, sometimes emotional and get a grasp of social history.

For example in the programme dealing with the Great War we hear about the difficulties faced by a black footballer who joined the army and was not eligible for any medals because of his colour. We hear about the pals platoon as friends and relatives joined up and were posted in the same unit so they would feel camaraderie. The unintended consequences being that when they faced severe casualties, towns such as Accrington were devastated as their young men were dead or severely injured.

The programmes were interesting but you do feel that they were also rather padded as Melvyn Bragg repeats information several times which seems to be the curse of many modern documentary programmes.


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