Faut-il croire que seul le Daily Mail s'est intéressé à ce film ? La BBC diffuse enfin un documentaire sur cette association charitable quarante deux ans après que celle-ci en eut obtenu en justice l'interdiction.
Banned Ken Loach charity documentary to be shown after 42 years
By Sally Beck
Last updated at 1:10 AM on 21st August 2011
A banned film which exposed the charity Save The Children Fund as being bigoted and abusive is to be shown for the first time after 42 years.
ITV commissioned the documentary from leading director Ken Loach in 1969 to mark the charity’s 50th birthday.But the fund won an injunction to stop it being shown.
Justin Forsyth, the current chief executive of the charity, which is now called Save The Children, said: ‘There are some really worrying bits in the film, particularly with the attitudes and approaches.
Candid: 'Auntie Lena' in the film
'I was embarrassed by some of the bigoted attitudes then, but it was a snapshot of the charity in 1969. Ken’s narrative does bring alive a lot of big questions about aid and attitudes.
‘Our immediate reaction now was, of course we should have the film out there even if it’s a bit embarrassing for us and critical of us because it does raise questions about charities that need to be talked about.’
Mr Loach said: ‘We knew we were making a film that was contentious. We weren’t there to do a PR job.’
At the time, the charity wanted the film destroyed. Lawyer Irving Teitelbaum struck a deal saving a single copy of the film.
He said: ‘They wanted to destroy it but the deal that we managed to do was that it would be locked in a vault at the British Film Institute and they would throw the key away.’
It has remained at the BFI, untouched and unseen, until Save The Children was asked if it could be shown as part of a Ken Loach retrospective.
Contentious: Director Ken Loach said he the film was never supposed to be a PR job
The film, produced by Tony Garnett, researched by sociologist and author Jeremy Seabrook and directed by Mr Loach, was shot in Kenya and the UK and begins by showing a project for deprived children called Hill House in the Essex countryside.
Children from industrial cities were sent for a three-month holiday and a good bath with disinfectant.
Surrogate parents Uncle Chris and Auntie Lena are charged with teaching them table manners and personal hygiene.
But Auntie Lena says that slum children are ‘cunning’, possess ‘a certain amount of animal instinct’ and that their parents are lazy.
One boy reveals: ‘Anyone who’s wet the bed has to have a cold bath in the morning.’ Another says: ‘If he [Uncle Chris] catches you playing around in the annexe, he hits you.’
The film moves to Kenya, which became independent in 1963, and the charity’s Starehe School for street boys in Nairobi.
An American teacher at the school says: ‘I cannot conceive of a school anywhere else in the world where the mother language is not allowed to be spoken on campus.
'These boys are segregated from Africa. If a boy loses contact with his culture, who is he?’
Mr Loach, 75, said: ‘Save The Children thought that we were on the side of the angels and, without any self-awareness, they felt they were too.
'The bigotry, particularly with the benefit of hindsight of
40 years, is just intolerable.’
Mr Forsyth added: ‘I’m glad it wasn’t destroyed. We’d be very happy to work with Ken again although he may not want to work with us.’
* Save The Children Fund will be shown at the BFI from September 1 until October 12. Ken Loach At The BBC is available on DVD from September 5.