Ground breaking film to be shown at leading art gallery
The revolutionary, documentary style film, Cathy Come Home, directed by one of Britain’s most critically acclaimed film-makers, Ken Loach, is showing at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts on Saturday 10 November 2012.
Cathy Come Home was first broadcast on 16 November 1966 on BBC1 as part of The Wednesday Play and was watched by 12 million people; a quarter of the British population at the time. The film candidly addressed issues of homelessness, unemployment and poverty in post-war, inner-city Britain with some scenes filmed in Birmingham.
The impact of this film at the time alerted the public, media and the government to the scale of the housing crisis and issues around homelessness. The charities Crisis and Shelter were set up soon after the first broadcast and the film went on to be rated as the best British television drama ever made.
After the film screening, there is a unique opportunity to listen to a talk from Tony Garnett with Dr Chris Upton. The talk will be introduced by Professor Ian Grosvenor (Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Cultural Engagement and Professor of Urban Educational History, University of Birmingham).
Lizzie Hatchman, Birmingham and Black Country Properties Manager, National Trust, said: “This year the National Trust is marking the anniversary of the death of Octavia Hill, whose work in helping to found the National Trust was informed by her long career in housing reform. As in the film ‘Cathy Come Home’, where Cathy and her children experience homelessness, Octavia knew first hand from her work in the Victorian slums that access to adequate and decent housing, especially for the most vulnerable in our communities, was a basic human right.”
Robert Wenley, Acting Director, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, said: “When Ken Loach’s Cathy Come Home was first televised on the BBC in 1966 it prompted enormous debate and arguably a new movement in social housing reform. Parts of the film were shot in the city of Birmingham and is inextricably linked to it. At the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham we are currently exhibiting three very different, but equally fascinating city-themed displays. Cityscapes is a loan show from the British Museum of European cityscapes as represented on precious coins and medals, while the other two displays form local responses to it, in which the complex character of the City of Birmingham is represented through photography and drawing. We chose to screen this iconic film, one of the finest tv dramas ever made, and to ask the producer Tony Garnett, who was also born in Birmingham, to talk about the film’s context, in order to highlight Birmingham’s involvement with this landmark moment in British history and also to provide a further response to life in our city.”
Cathy Come Home
Venue: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TS
Date/ Time: Saturday 10 November 2012/ 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Price: £7.00 (booking is essential)
Bookings: 0121 414 2261
Refreshments will be served during the interval. Delegates can also enjoy a special lunch offer at Winterbourne House and Gardens immediately before this event between 12noon and 1pm only. Take your ticket with you.
Further Information: Telephone: 0121 414 2261