How to use this website
The website can be used in conjunction with my book, Films for the Colonies: Cinema and the Preservation of the British Empire. The book incorporates a wide range of archival materials – including rarely seen films, images, government documents, articles and newspapers – which have, in many cases, been digitised during my research.
The website is organised by chapter and provides direct links to content within the book. As many of these films will be unfamiliar to readers (unless they have suffered from tropical diseases or wanted to learn how to travel on London buses), this website helps to locate and watch the films examined throughout the book. Additional materials – such as articles from Colonial Cinema magazine – can support teaching and encourage further research on the subject.
About the Book
Films for the Colonies examines the British Government’s use of film across its vast Empire from the 1920s until widespread independence in the 1960s. Central to this work was the Colonial Film Unit, which produced, distributed, and, through its network of mobile cinemas, exhibited instructional and educational films throughout the British colonies. Using extensive archival research and rarely seen films, Films for the Colonies provides a new historical perspective on the last decades of the British Empire. It also offers a fresh exploration of British and global cinema, charting the emergence and endurance of new forms of cinema culture from Ghana to Jamaica, Malta to Malaysia.