Screen Archive South East (SASE), part of the University of Brighton, has produced ‘War & Peace’ – a free to stream short film to commemorate the end of the Second World War.
The 7 minute film, released ahead of the 75th anniversary of VE Day this Friday (8 May), has been assembled by Dr Frank Gray and the team at SASE to provide an introduction to the many films it has collected over the past 25 years on the experience of living in the South East since the 1890s.
‘War & Peace’ is a chronological montage of footage in black and white and colour, many of which has never been seen before in public, captured by film-makers from the region between 1939 and 1945.
Featuring the building of Anderson shelters, air raid drills in Hove, Spitfires at Tangmere Airfield near Chichester, the ‘real’ Dad’s Army armed with broomsticks and the tragic aftermath of the Blitz in Brighton. The film finishes with the end of war celebrations in London and the South East, with parades, street parties and doing the hokey-cokey.
Dr Gray said: “Our planning of War & Peace began over a year ago with the identification of key films, research into each work (e.g. the film-maker, the activities seen and the locations) and the careful digitisation process.
“What has emerged is a unique record of the home front – how daily lives were lived during this difficult period. War & Peace was designed to be shared with everyone and each film used within it can be seen on our website and be creatively re-used within new projects.”
The film is accompanied by a specially commissioned score from award-winning screen composer Nina Humphreys.
From the research, digitisation and cataloguing of footage from World War II, over 150 Home Front films are now available to view on the SASE website.
ABOUT SCREEN ARCHIVE SOUTH EAST
Screen Archive South East is a publicly-funded regional film archive serving this region of England. Established in 1992 by the British Film Institute, the University of Brighton and a consortium of local authorities, SASE is dedicated to collecting, preserving, digitising, cataloguing and providing public and commercial access to its screen collection of films, videotapes, lantern slides and digital files. SASE is committed to ‘inclusive heritage’ and nurturing and sharing a vision for screen heritage that combines research, stewardship, curation, exhibition and education with audience & visitor development. It is dedicated to skill-sharing, knowledge-sharing (archival & curatorial) and working in partnership with colleagues both regionally and nationally.
Part of the University of Brighton, it serves the South East of England and its six local authorities: Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, Kent, Medway, Surrey and West Sussex. Its collection of over 25,000 lantern slides and moving images document the rise of screen culture in the region and the nation and represent primarily the changing nature of life in the South East from the late 19th century to the present day. SASE’s Conservation Centre is found within the West Sussex Record Office at Chichester (which includes work space and a climate-controlled media vault). This record office is SASE’s primary partner.
In 2009 SASE was recognised by the BFI as a significant UK film collection and it features on the AHRC’s website as one of its case studies.