Whose Nation on Film? The practice of an archive-based TV documentary

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The South Asian diaspora has in recent years been the focus of intense media attention. However, relatively few factual programmes have been screened relating to the history of Asian communities in the UK. Using film archive, from both establishment and non establishment sources, Nation on Film looked at this fascinating period in Britain's post-war history. This article examines the choice of material used in the programme. Much of the archive highlights cultural concerns from the period, in particular racism, integration (or lack of integration) and the reality of a new life in a liberal, urban Britain. However, the choice of archive and themes in Nation on Film also reveals much about the creative practice of today's programme makers.

Keywords: Asian diaspora; BBC; archive-based film; documentary practice; immigration history; open university; public service broadcasting

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jmpr.7.3.219_1

Affiliations: BBC North.

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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