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Free Time

Commonwealth on Film Episode 4 of 4

From India to Jamaica, Nigeria to Hong Kong and beyond, over the decades film-makers have captured the rich diversity of the Commonwealth. This edition looks at free time.

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30 minutes

Last on

Sun 27 Jul 2014 02:10

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Details of source films for main extracts used in the Free Time episode of Commonwealth on Film.

The Commonwealth Dances 
British Movietone 20/9/1965
In Trafalgar Square and the Royal Albert Hall, a spectacle of dance and music marks the beginning of the first Commonwealth Festival of Arts. In Hyde Park a fireworks display designed by John Piper marks the opening of the fortnight.  Also featuring a BBC News interview with John Akar, director of the Sierra Leone group, on the controversy re the country’s topless dancers.

The World About Us: Ogunde: Man of the Theatre 
BBC 07/09/1980        
Film about Chief Hubert Ogunde, founder & actor-manager of a Nigerian travelling theatre group.

Commonwealth Magazine: 2
BBC 31/05/1955     
From the BBC’s monthly Commonwealth news magazine comes this National Film Board of Canada story  “Springtime in the Sugar Bush” – featuring the maple groves at St. Alexander College, Ironside, Québec, a popular spot when the sap begins to flow.

Commonwealth Magazine: 4
BBC 23/08/1955     
Featuring  a Harvest dance from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and Punjabi strolling players performing a Bhangra dance. From the same edition, “Lusaka Calling”, a film on the Central African Broadcasting Service of the short-lived Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Commonwealth Magazine:12 
BBC 16/05/1956
India – Realm of Sound: The work of All-India Radio, including a lively and very ‘50s comedy-show recording.

Whicker's World: 1
BBC  21/03/1959   
In a piece originally shown on the "Tonight" programme, gourmand roving reporter Alan Whicker visits a floating restaurant in Hong Kong.

Television and the World 
BBC 31/10/1961 
From this special programme surveying the impact of television on the people of five continents, a look at pioneering Western Nigeria Television, which began broadcasting in 1959. 

Australia: Beyond the Fatal Shore: Body and Soul
From the landmark documentary series in which cultural commentator Robert Hughes returned to Australia to assess the state of the country – this extract takes us to the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras, the ultimate in Aussie hedonism.

This is Ska
Jamaican Film Unit / Overseas Film and TV 1964
Filmed on location in Kingston, Jamaica, this documentary features the movers and shakers of this innovative music scene, and demonstrates its wonderfully athletic dance steps. 

June in Jamaica
Vista Production / Overseas Film and TV 1961
The glamour and glitz of the Miss Jamaica beauty pageant, in glorious 35mm colour.

Robinson's Travels: 2 Lucknow to the Hills
BBC 19/12/1979  
Robert Robinson takes part in the Lucknow Kite Flying Association Tournament, and learns that in this joyous sport there’s a vicious streak!

Commonwealth Fashion Show
British Pathe 1967
At London’s Marlborough House Princess Margaret enjoys a feast of fashion from all corners of the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Magazine: 14 
BBC  11/07/1956 
Sport doesn’t get much more extreme than buffalo racing in South Kanara in India.    


Role Contributor
Executive ProducerCaroline Wright
ProducerElaine Shepherd

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