The Countrywomen (1941)

This account of the wartime activities of the Women’s Institute tells the story of a country woman who provides a home to an evacuee and her son.

Stills must not be reproduced, copied or downloaded in any way.

Film details

  • Director

    John Page

  • Country

    United Kingdom

  • Year

    1941

  • Genres

    Documentary Government sponsored film

  • Type

    Film

  • Category

    Non Fiction

Introduction

Commissioned by the Ministry of Information, the film has a clear, if gentle, propagandist purpose.  The evacuation of city dwellers to countryside ‘safe havens’ was organised on a massive scale, with official reports estimating some six million people affected nationwide. It often meant a first exposure to rural lifestyles for urban folk, while country dwellers had to adjust to city attitudes. With war raging and invasion still a real fear, it was crucial to unite the two communities in a common goal.

Clumsily scripted in parts – particularly in the closing scenes in which the women espouse the WI ‘party line’ – the film has a charm which might be lacking in a more sophisticated production. Producer Paul Rotha was an adviser to the MOI on the use of propaganda films, and made numerous films for the civilian war effort.

Cast & Credits

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