Delighted by Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest (2016), and intrigued by Sue Harper’s 1996 description of Great Day (1940) as a masterpiece, I attended the BFI for the screening of GD and two ‘shorts ‘ in the British Women and WWII Cinema series.
GD is an interesting feel good film about the Women Institutes during the war. The driving force was the preparation for a visit of Mrs. Roosevelt. My immediate thoughts were to note the unusual representation of the few men, and the absence of war in this war film. I automatically thought of the later (1942) Went The Day Well , its violent images, the active role of women and the brutalising effect of war. GD is certainly worth studying as an all-women film, the spread of actors’s ages, the class element, and Flora Robson presence.
It is worth putting it on the list of older women in films.
I found the two shorts Choose Cheese (1940) and They Also Serve (1940) fascinating. Both were directed by Ruby Grierson. They show such potential in a woman director who is not as well known as her brother and who died tragically at the age of 36 on a torpedoed liner. They Also Serve, shows the daily routine of an older woman going about caring for her household, friends and neighbours. My first thought was “ what a shame that the significant contribution to society of the older woman needs a war to be recognised” .