The British Empire in Colour

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History Documentary hosted by Art Malik, published by TWI-Carlton in 2002 - English narration

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Image: The-British-Empire-in-Colour-Cover.jpg

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Rare footage and eyewitness accounts chronicle the decline of a once vast power. The British Empire brought education, technology, law, and democracy to the four corners of the globe. It also brought prejudice, discrimination, cultural bigotry, and racism. With an unblinking eye, this three-part series examines the complexities, contradictions, and legacies of empire, both positive and negative. Rare and often very early colour film from major archives and private collections gives a front-row view of history in the making: the Partition of India, the birth of the state of Israel, the Suez crisis, the rise of black nationalism in Africa, the handover of Hong Kong, and more. Personal letters and diary excerpts describe the experiences of the rulers and the ruled. Produced by a BAFTA- and Peabody-winning team, narrated by Art Malik ("The Jewel in the Crown"), this fascinating series charts Britain’s imperial path from the zenith of the Raj to the disintegration of the empire and the multicultural future it faces today.

[edit] The Decline of the British Empire

100 years ago, Britain was the most powerful nation in the world and the British Empire ruled over half the people on earth. All the pomp and pageantry of imperial rule is encapsulated in this first episode. Remarkable and rare film captures as never before such glorious occasions as the 1906 Trooping the Colour in London; the 1911 Delhi Durbar in India and a World War One victory parade in Paris in 1919. But as the century gets into its stride, the cameras are also there to record less magnificent events, among them the General Strike of 1926, which highlighted the social divide in post-war Britain. Even in India, the power of British rule is fading, as nationalism gains strength under Gandhi and Nehru. Although the Second World War temporarily unites the colonies and dominions in battle, victory ironically spells the beginning of the end for the Empire. In a new world order of American and Soviet power, India finally achieves her independence and Britain is left exhausted and fearful of the future.

[edit] The Fall of the British Empire

British fears are realised as they abandon a turbulent Palestine, become embroiled in a Communist insurgency in Malaya and are humbled in the Suez Crisis. The dismantling of the Empire continues as the winds of change start to blow across colonial Africa, from the peaceful rise of Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana in 1957, to the bloodshed of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. By the 1960s, much of the Empire has been handed back to its people.

[edit] The Legacy of the British Empire

The coronation of Elizabeth II herald a new era, as the old Empire becomes the new multi-cultural Commonwealth. As emigrants flee the hardship of post-war Britain, tempted by the promise of Australian and Canadian riches, West Indian immigrants flood into Britain. The 1960s herald a time of changing racial attitudes and while Britain adjusts to its growing multicultural society, her dominions - Australia and Canada - strive for a new understanding with their own unhappy indigenous populations. In Rhodesia, the last painful pangs of the Empire are felt, as white and black nationalisms clash. In a rapidly changing world, the peoples of the former British Empire begin to realise the legacy of their imperial heritage.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 22 (1890 Kbps average)
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Video Resolution: 720x480
  • Audio Codec: AC3
  • Audio Bitrate: 192 Kbps 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 49 mins
  • Framerate: 29,970 FPS
  • Number of Parts: 3
  • Part Size: 745 MB (average)
  • Source: DVD
  • Encoded by: Hydrogen2Oxygen

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