Some time after her death, film director Jill Craigie (1911- 99), re-opens an old suitcase, prompting memories of the extraordinary life and loves of this forceful, charismatic woman, whose work has been long neglected. Craigie was one of the first women to direct documentaries. Working outside the British Documentary Movement in the 1940s and early 1950s, her films such as To Be Woman (1951), on equal pay, and Out of Chaos (1944), the first film about artists at work, featuring Henry Moore and Paul Nash, tackled new subjects for the cinema through a unique blend of drama, polemic and humour.
Independent Miss Craigie uses the director’s unseen papers, and her films, to reveal her energetic struggles to get her radical projects made and distributed, including her last one, on the Yugoslav conflict, made when she was 83, with her husband, former Labour leader, Michael Foot.
Details: 2020, 93’
Hayley Atwell – Narrator
Mimi Haddon – Young Jill Craigie
Cornelius Clarke – John Davis
Steven Connery – Jeffrey Dell
Paul White – JA Rank
Bryan Hands – Michael Foot
Catherine Humphrys – Sylvia Pankhurst
Gareth Wildig – Welsh Man
Producer/Director – Lizzie Thynne
Associate Producers – Hollie Price, Adele Tulli
Editor – Vera Simmonds
Camera Pascale Neuschäfer, Malgorzata Pronko Art Direction Erin Green, Jessica Griffin Sound Al Green, Nikoline Gjoertz Composer James Longcake Production Assistant Chiara Cannata Colourist Jason Moffat
With special thanks to The Women’s Library, London School of Economics, who hold The Jill Craigie Collection.
‘Independent Miss Craigie: Narration and the Archive in a Documentary Biopic’, article on the film by Lizzie Thynne
Independent Miss Craigie was supported by
and The University of Sussex
READ MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT JILL CRAIGIE FILM PIONEER, led by Lizzie Thynne