Blitz Flicks

Each weekend in January the BFI Southbank is offering you the chance to experience a matinee programme, 1940s-style, write co-programmers Jo Botting and Sue Woods.

When war broke out in 1939 the British government’s response was to close down cinemas due to the risk of bombing, but producers and exhibitors successfully argued that film was vital to the war effort by raising morale and providing much-needed distraction. It wasn’t long before another key role of cinema began to emerge, as a way of conveying messages to the populace, and the creativity of filmmakers was channelled into making innovative and subtle propaganda films. For this unique season we’ve selected some favourite wartime features, including one of our ‘BFI Most Wanted’ titles (Welcome, Mr Washington), and added supporting programmes of some of the best ads, sing-alongs and propaganda shorts from the BFI National Archive – among them rarities digitised through our Unlocking Film Heritage project. So join us for an afternoon of entertainment... and don’t forget your gas mask! 

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