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I'm trying to find the title of a short British film which is probably propaganda, filmed in Canterbury in the UK towards the end of WW2, and was called something like "They Came Back", "We've Come Back" or something similar.

It is the story of two children who have returned to Canterbury after the Nazi bombing raids have definitely come to an end. It shows a ruined city, and some famous landmarks.

I have only ever seen it on YouTube about a year ago, but have since been unable to find it again - perhaps it has been removed? My guess it was put on YouTube by the British Film Institute, but searching their website provides no answers either.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's a 1945 Pathé film called We've Come Back.

Canterbury, Kent.
A little boy and girl who were evacuated from Canterbury return and sit on the hillside above the city. They hold hands and walk down the hill. Various shots of the bomb damaged city with people going about their business. They walk through to the cathedral, various good shots of it as they look up, one corner of the tower is in scaffolding. M/S's of the open spaces where the buildings have been bombed and cleared. M/S as they stand by a wrecked wall next to the river. Various shots of the bomb damaged buildings. M/ S as the children walk towards their Tudor home. A squadron of British aeroplanes fly over, they chat as they watch them. M/S as they go home.

You can see stills here.

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In the synopsis, "M/S" is used a lot - what does it mean? –  Rich Aug 11 '12 at 10:30
    
According to this Film Script Terminology: "A medium shot (MS) is normally a shot from the waist up." (see diagram) –  Hugo Aug 11 '12 at 10:39
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Not an answer, but perhaps some help:

This is a link to a database of BFI films. Note that it has a (somewhat clumsy) advanced search option: http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/searches.php It includes a lot of bibliographic entries not in the archive database you referenced.

There is also a DVD set called Land of Promise: The British Documentary Movement 1930-1950 that has 40 documentaries on it. None match the title you remember. A follow-up set (Shadows of Progress) chronicles 1951-1977. (Note: These are British films in PAL format.)

The rebuilding of Canterbury apparently didn't begin until 10 years after the war, so the film you seek may be a 1950s film. Perhaps BFI was not the producer, and a wider search is needed?

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