7 March 2023

In 2022, the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) Library partnered with the National Film and Sound Archive to digitise three 16mm silent films made for BSL around 1946.

Commissioned by BSL Founder, Father Gerard Tucker, the films were all made on a shoestring budget between 1946-47. Unique for their time, these films portray some of the social realist documentation of both inner-city slums and the hardships endured by families living in Melbourne during the early post war years.

These short films were screened in public gatherings, with a speaker providing commentary including detailed statistics and anecdotes.

  • These are our children was made in 1946 by Ken Coldicutt and tells the story of a young boy and girl who have little to do with their time, which leads them to petty crime and eventually to the Children's Court.
  • Beautiful Melbourne was made is 1947 by Ken Coldicutt and the Realist Film Unit and shows the appalling conditions of inner-city slums including the tough conditions of Fitzroy housing.
  • A place to live was produced in 1950 by the Realist Film Unit and is about housing, homelessness and inequality that the workers and their families faced.

Watch the three films below or explore more background information through BSL library catalogue record.