Freedom of Aberfeldy
Wartime propaganda film encouraging Scottish women to make allied soldiers welcome in their homes
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The town of Aberfeldy during wartime where the women were encouraged to provide a home away from home for Dominion troops on leave. The film depicts an idealised vision of Highland life during World War II and shows the community pulling together to support the war effort. There are shots of forces personnel arriving in the town and being welcomed into peoples homes, eating with the families, taking part in traditional dancing, fishing and walking by the river.
Questions & Activities
- Why was this film made and who were the filmmakers trying to influence?
- What view does this present of Scottish society and social values?
- What was the previous war mentioned in the film?
- What and where were the British dominions?
- Which of the dominions are featured in this film and which are not?
- What important changes occurred on the Home Front in 1943 which may have influenced the production of this film?
Home Front: The film paints an innocent picture of Highland life, but discuss how important 'home life' would be to dominion troops. Research the contribution of Dominion and later American servicemen to the war effort and discuss the problems that soldiers from different Dominion territories faced in Britain and that Britain had in making them welcome.
Extension activity: This film would have been shown throughout the UK, so you may also want to discuss what ideas of Scottish identity are being presented and why the Ministry of Information would have produced.
English: Write a letter from the perspective of one of the soldiers home about their week in Aberfeldy, or to a young lady they met during their stay.
English / Wartime propaganda: Discuss how real the class thinks this depiction is of wartime life is and compare this with the film 'Children of the City' made at approximately the same time. You may want to look at issues of dramatisation, use of actors and non-actors, mis-en-scene and use of music.
|Resource Rights Holder||National Library of Scotland|
|Genre||Propaganda, Public Information|
|School Subject||Media Studies, English, Computing Science|
|Who||Alan Harper (narrator), Campbell Harper Films Ltd (production company), Henry Cooper (cameraman), Ministry of Information (sponsor)|
|Event||World War II|
|Attributes||Black and White, Sound|