For some people, a housing crisis means not getting planning permission for a loft conversion. For others it means, quite simply, losing their home.
Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a feature documentary directed by Paul Sng (Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain) and narrated by Maxine Peake, exploring the catastrophic failures that have led to a chronic shortage of social housing in Britain.
The film focuses on the neglect, demolition and regeneration of council estates in London, Glasgow and Nottingham, and investigates how the state works with the private sector to demolish council estates to build on the land they stand on, making properties that are unaffordable to the majority of people in the UK.
Dispossession is the story of people fighting for their communities, of people who know the difference between a house and a home, and who believe that housing is a human right, not an expensive luxury.
Widely regarded as the 20th century’s most important singer of English traditional song, Shirley Collins stood at the epicentre of the folk music scene during the 1960s and ’70s.
However, in 1980 she lost her voice in mysterious circumstances, and was forced to retire from musical life.
Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s documentary sets out to explore the story behind the icon, and chronicles Shirley’s battle, at the grand old age of 80, to rediscover that voice she lost so many years previously.
The film offsets this contemporary journey with a more literal one taken from the other end of her life, and makes fertile use of authentic 1959 audio-archive to recount the tale of Shirley’s seminal road-trip around America’s Deep South alongside her then-lover (and pre-eminent ethnomusicologist) Alan Lomax.
Featuring cameos from the comedian Stewart Lee and David Tibet of Current 93, the film eschews a straightforward biopic approach and mindfully sidesteps any rockumentary talking-heads; the filmmakers instead offering up a meditative and richly textured piece of portraiture.
One which uses Shirley’s story as a prism through which to explore and reflect upon themes of heritage, posterity and the true ancestral melodies of the people.
Here then is a film about loss and redemption. A film about sacrifice, healing and rebirth. A film which suggests that, during these turbulent and increasingly untethered times, we might just need Shirley Collins now more than ever.
Thanks to their sweary rants about modern England, Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods have been called “the voice of Britain” by their fans, “Britain’s angriest band” by the Guardian and “The world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band” by Iggy Pop.
Jason Williamson, a former chicken factory worker and father of two, his band mate, beatmaker Andrew Fearn, and their manager Steve Underwood, avant-garde bedroom label owner and former bus driver, have won over fans with their brutally honest lyrics and DIY ethos.
Following them on their two-year journey from bedroom recording sessions to mainstream success, Christine Franz’s official documentary feature tells the story of three guys taking on the music business on their own terms.