All our yesterdays, captured on camera
A Bad Day for Levinsky, children, who were fed, clothed, educated and re-housed in the UK. Cast Us Not Out (1969) makes a compassionate appeal from the Jewish Welfare Board (now part of Jewish Care), showing us acute poverty affecting the elderly.
Assimilation and identity are explored in sophisticated television documentary Britain’s Jews (1965), including Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs discussing modernity. Here and in the sensitive drama The Barber of Stamford Hill (1962), we see Britain on the cusp of the swinging sixties, with hair styles and attitudes straining at the demands of contemporary culture, and hear accents from a bygone era.
Jewish Britain on Film features on BFI Player alongside other collections celebrating diverse British communities. BFI National Archive Curator Simon McCallum says, “It’s been a privilege to bring together this exploration of the experiences and contributions of Britain’s vibrant Jewish community. This collection uncovers some painful and troubling moments, and documents times of immense change, but is also full of joyous snapshots of Jewish life in all its diversity”.
To access Jewish Britain on Film go to: https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/collections
Dr Julia Wagner writes about film, including for the BFI, and currently teaches Film Studies at JW3. @jrwagz
Rose Carmel and Solly Gerschcowit at their 1925 wedding