Open Access Articles- Top Results for Drifters (1929 film)

Drifters (1929 film)

Directed by John Grierson
Produced by John Grierson
Cinematography DOP Basil Emmott
Release dates
Running time
61 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £3,000

Drifters (1929) is silent documentary film by John Grierson, his first and only personal film.

It tells the story of Britain's North Sea herring fishery. The film's style has been described as being a "response to avant-garde, Modernist films, adopting formal techniques such as montage – constructive editing emphasising the rhythmic juxtaposition of images – but also aimed to make a socially directed commentary on its subject"(Tate Gallery: Liverpool 2006). The film was successful both critically and commercially and helped kick off Grierson's documentary film movement.[1][2][3][4] This film also showed that Grierson was not afraid to alter reality slightly in order to have his vision shown. For example when the boat he was on returned without a catch he bought another boats catch and tried to fake it. He ended up scrapping that film as it was not authentic enough.[5]


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  3. ^ Tate Gallery – Liverpool- Making History: Art and Documentary in Britain from 1929 to now Exhibition: 3 February–23 April 2006 (Accessed July 2011)
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  5. ^ Evans, Gary. John Grierson: Trailblazer of Documentary Film. Montreal: XYZ Publishing, 2005. Print.

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