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Listen to Britain
Listen to Britain
Humphrey Jennings
Stewart McAllister
22 min
United Kingdom

The greatest of British wartime films, Listen to Britain is a masterpiece of both precise observation and of the use of sound-image montage to generate associations that are both specific and evocative. Director Humphrey Jennings, working closely with editor Stewart McAllister, captures all facets of British life in 1942, from the habitual nature of descents into underground tunnels to the singular experience of people from all backgrounds watching pianist Myra Hess perform a free concert in London's National Gallery. The composite portrait makes it very clear what Britain was fighting for while also poetically suggesting creative possibilities for the future. Jennings was a profound influence on later directors such as John Boorman and Terence Davies.