Common Ground

About the film

As the war rages in Europe, allies of Britain keep their cultures alive in their National Houses.

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  • Release year - 1943
  • Production company - Merton Park
  • Screenplay - Mary Benedetta
  • Editor - Cath Miller
  • Recording by - Cecil Mason
  • Running time (minutes) - 17 mins 57 secs

Original description

Allied centres in Britain

'At the National Houses set up, owing to the war, in the United Kingdom through the co-operation of the Allied European Governments and the British Council, Allied nations kept alive their own culture and traditions, and studied the British way of life. The film shows glimpses of the Czecho-slovak, Yugoslav, Belgian, Norwegian, Netherlands, Greek and Polish Houses.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1944-45)

Did you know?

  • The Sokol movement was founded in Prague in 1862 and became very popular across eastern Europe, serving as a precursor to the Scouting movement.
  • Both Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia — whose National Houses are the first we see — no longer exist.
  • This is not the first film to feature Polish airmen in the archive; The Royal Mile, also shows Overseas servicemen and the Polish publication ‘Skrzydła’ — the periodical of the Polish Air Force until the end of 1946.

All films are subject to the Creative Commons licence guidelines.

Learn more about how to use to the film archive.

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About the film archive

Learn about the history behind our documentary film archive from the 1940s.

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