Paradise Circus

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Documentary about the ways in which Birmingham is perceived by women, living in an environment largely designed by men.





Film type:

B&W/Colour / Sound




Birmingham Film And Video Workshop

Master format:



Text from promotional postcard:

' "When you're redeveloping a city, it shouldn't be in the small print, 'this is for men only, this is for the able bodied only' "

Paradise Circus is about the ways in which the city is perceived by women, living in a n environment largely designed by men. How different would a city like Birmingham be if women could influence its deign? What stops them from doing this?

Mothers, architects, artists, shoppers and other women who live and work in Birmingham explore the contradictions of the city, its promises and disappointments, and suggest that listening to the experiences of women may hold the answer to the impoverished 'concrete jungle' so familiar today. Not least 'Paradise Circus' succeeds in creating the most vivid portrait of the city seen for years. "

The film includes extracts from:

HOMES FOR THE PEOPLE (1945, Kay Mander, p.c. Basic Films)

THE WAY WE LIVE (1946, d. Jill Craigie, p.c. Two Cities)

BIRMINGHAM THE BUSINESS CITY (Birmingham City Council Promotional Video)

BBC MIDLANDS TODAY (tx. 11th May 1987, BBC)


Commentary: Shianna King

Camera: Jeff Baggott, Anne Cottringer, Heather Powell

Camera Assistance: Dave Wilson, Kate Polak

Sound: Debbie Kaplan, Christine Felce, Maggie Ellis, Marian Hall

Sound Assistant: Lai Ngan Walsh

Sound Mixer: Colin Martin

Production Manager: Rody Bristow-Jones, Sunandan Whalia

Production Assistant: Melanie Long

Electricians: Eve Wickham, Dave O'Brien

Driver: Andy Harrison

Trainee: Jane Mugglestone

Graphics: Jonnie Turpie

Additional Research: Maggie Ellis, Jude Bloomfield, Jos Boys

Edited by: Steve Sklair

Credits: Les Latimer

Processing: Metrocolour

Produced & Directed by Heather Powell

Thanks to the individuals and organisations who assisted in the making of this film including:

Sheila Rowbotham
Hilda Powell
Susan Light
Deed Curry
Bridget Harper
Lewisham Woman's Training Centre
Annie Rubienska and Friends
Sue Green
City of Birmingham Show Corp
Willies Wine Bar
Midland Development Group
Birmingham Polytechnic School of Architecture
Roger Shannon
Patrick Baird, Birmingham Central Library, Local Studies Department
Mr & Mrs Vercoe
Birmingham City Council


Jude Bloomfield (Researcher), Lakhvia Chohan (UK Asian Woman's Centre), Dick Knowles (Leader, Birmingham Council), Jos Boys (Architectural Researcher), Carol Stevens (artist), Chris Nichols & Anne Nichols (Residents of the Castle Vale estate), Lilian McVie & Doreen Brown (Users of the Sparkbrook Ashram Community Project), Evelyn Williams (artist), Jane White & Jeevan Singh & Vicki Oko-Osi (Broad Images Photography Group), Elsie Owusu (architect), Julmur Mukerji (Jagonari Asian Women's Centre), Annie Thorne (Matrix architects), Pabi Das, Myfanwy Jones (artist), Sheila Button (Housing Director), Rhonda Wilson (photographer), UK Asian Women's Centre.