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Essentially British? White Tribe (2000)

Material to accompany the BFI Mediatheque 'Essentially British' DVD.

Main image of Essentially British? White Tribe (2000)
Diverse Television for Channel 4, tx. 13-27/1/2000, colour, 3 x 50 min
DirectorPaul Wilmshurst
Focus Questions
In the Classroom

Journalist and broadaster Darcus Howe travels around England in search of an English identity.

"What kind of place will England be in 50 years time?". In the third and final part of this series for Channel 4, journalist and broadcaster Darcus Howe goes in search of 'the new England' and wonders if there will be anything 'English' left in it at all. "If there is one thing of which I'm certain", Howe begins, "the old England, the England I came to 40 years ago, that's dead; they don't even want to be English anymore". As he travels across the UK, Howe meets men and women from many different walks of life and arrives at some unexpected but reasonably optimistic conclusions.

Clip one: In the opening sequence of the programme, Darcus argues that the English don't want to be English anymore - they prefer American pastimes, European food and drink and identify more strongly with their region, city, town or area they come from. It is only English nationalists, he says, who remain committed to England - an outdated model of Empire and superiority. What, he asks, will England look like in 50 years time?

Clip two: Darcus meets Mary, a descendent of the 'landed gentry', who feels strong ties to Northumberland and its history. He is uncomfortable about meeting a member of the 'countryside alliance' yet he finds Mary's strong sense of identity and her commitment to the area she lives in very appealing. As he watches the local hunt prepare and set off, Darcus remarks that while hunting has now become a symbol of defiance - 'an act of rebellion' - he feels like he is witnessing something that is 'genuinely England'.

Follow the link to In The Classroom at the top of this page for teaching suggestions linked to History and Citizenship. In Focus Questions you'll find suggestions for questions to focus students' attention while watching the film. These will also help to develop their understanding of film language.

Video Clips
1. Intro (2:00)
2. Mary (12:30)
Downloadable Teaching Resources

Related BFI Mediatheque Titles

Thumbnail image of Essentially British?: I'm British But... (1989)Essentially British?: I'm British But... (1989)
Thumbnail image of Essentially British?: Springtime in an English Village (1948)Essentially British?: Springtime in an English Village (1948)
Thumbnail image of Essentially British?: Think of England (1999)Essentially British?: Think of England (1999)

Related Films and TV Programmes

Related Lessons and Resources

Thumbnail image of KS3/4 Citizenship: Think of England (1999)KS3/4 Citizenship: Think of England (1999)

Is there a north/south divide?

Thumbnail image of KS3/4 Citizenship: White Tribe (2000)KS3/4 Citizenship: White Tribe (2000)

What will Britain look like in 50 years time?