This Sunday, Sheffield Documentary Festival presents The Changing Face of London, a series of films and discussions taking place at Second Home Spittalfields. The four films explore the connections of place, politics and culture in London from the 1960s to the present day, looking into the city’s re-occurring conversations around immigration and gentrification.
Kicking off the series, director Ben Lewin presents Welcome to Britain, a powerful and ironically titled documentary that deals with the horrific treatment of immigrants and refugees during the seventies. The 73-minute film focuses on the absurd and complicated system implemented to prevent people gaining legal residence in UK.
Next on the list of this world-class lineup is Norman Cohen’s The London Nobody Knows. The film offers a fascinating insight into pre-gentrified London during the eccentric late 1960’s. A time capsule into the remnants of a bygone era, prior to the city’s extensive modern redevelopment, the 1969 film documents the candid lives of Londoner’s at the time.
Patrick Keiller’s London is neither documentary nor fiction, this 100 minute film depicts the capital city through the eyes of Keiller’s imaginary protagonist, Robinson. Chronicling a year of Robinson’s life during 1994, the observative narration captures the pace of life amongst London’s streets.
Finally, the day ends with The Changing Face of London Shorts with the filmmaker and Q&A. The six, contemporary short films offer poetic and political mirrors of London in flux from the last five years. Including films from Leon Oldstrong, Alice Russell, Ayo Akingbade, Will Robson Scott and Matan Rochlitz and Ivo Gormley, these short films offer a contemporary look into London’s transformation over the past five years.
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