Who Killed British Cinema?

Who Killed British Cinema? ★★

A righteously angry piece: part expose, part exercise in hand-wringing. But there lies a central problem with a programme that doesn't know what it wants to be. I wish documentary makers would take smaller bites and concentrate on those rather than bittily surveying all things and everything - we all know what Jack wasn't a master of... 

The apparent rot at the UK Film Council is worthy of its own investigative documentary (come back World in Action!) but this drifts off into side issues with an over reliance on clumsy illustration and spurious examples via film clips, so we never get to grips with the horrendous mess the council apparently was. As a pet peeve the constant goldfish memory graphics of interviewee names irritates.

The over reliance on Gems as a major witness isn't the best bedrock as his indignation is fine but his attention to detail is lacking on occasion. Not that when Rank eventually ceased film production changes anything - it was 1980 not 1970 as he wrongly states - but if your knowledge isn't always accurate then what else can you not trust? 

A little more care and attention would have lifted this programme above a rant to the converted and into something with incision, focus and detail. It lacks all three.

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