Université de Bourgogne – UFR SHS – Département d’histoire

L3 Parcours AMC – UE Civilisation anglo-saxonne – V. Morisson

 

Goodbye to monochrome

 

The 1960s was a mythical period in British history in which the way the country was run fundamentally changed, says Andrew Marr.

 

A chance meeting at a party at Cliveden in Berkshire in July 1961 sowed the seeds of a scandal that forever changed the way Britain was governed. John Profumo, the secretary State for War, a Russian spy called Captain Eugene Ivanov and model Christine Keeler were among the guests of Lord Astor, gathered around the swimming pool. Mr Profumo and Miss Keeler were from two different worlds. He was part of the inner circle of the British traditional establishment while she was part of the brash, new Britain rapidly taking shape around it. They met and began an affair, a liaison which he subsequently denied in Parliament. Rumours began to circulate that secret information on nuclear weapons could have been passed via Miss Keeler to Captain Ivanov, and Mr Profumo eventually resigned from the government after admitting he had lied to the Commons.

The events stoked huge national interest and Harold Macmillan’s government, which was a closed world of public schoolboys, was struggling to make the brave decisions needed to tackle the economic difficulties. Its troubles were lampooned by satirists. Macmillan resigned and Labour won the general election the following year by four seats. What happened at and after Cliveden ripped open the whole way of ruling Britain. The secretive establishment cliques were confronted by the impertinent, publicity-crazed, 1960s. And « the chaps » lost.

The Sixties is most remembered, however, as a mythical period of British history. The country turned from the black and white austerity of the 40s and 50s into a Technicolor, psychedelic Garden of Eden. Not since before the Romans invaded had long-haired people wandered around in public wearing so little. And not since the early Christians had love been so earnestly declared the answer to almost everything. A heady optimism was shared by people who had never enjoyed this kind of cultural power before – the children of dockers and factory workers bringing a transfusion of energy that pale, old Britain badly needed.

Harold Wilson, the new prime minister, hailed the dawn of the classless society. A period which lasted 15 years and began during his premiership saw modern Britain starting to rise. The look and shape of the country which was formed during 1964-79 is still here today, essentially unaltered – the motorways and mass car economy, the concrete architecture, the rock music, the high street chains.

Here « modern » also means a belief in planning and management. This was the time of practical men, educated in grammar schools, sure of their intelligence, rolling up their sleeves and taking no nonsense. They were going to scrap the old and fusty, whether that meant the huge Victorian railway network, the grand Edwardian palaces of government in Whitehall, regiments, terraced housing, the grim laws of their ancestors – hanging, theatre censorship, the prohibitions on homosexual behaviour and abortion – or the ancient coinage and quaint county names. Bigger in general would be better. Huge comprehensive schools would be more efficient and fairer than the maze of selective and rubbish-heap academies. The many hundreds of trade unions would resolve themselves into a few leviathans, known only by their initials. Small companies would wither and combine and ever-larger corporations would arise in their place, ruthless, sleek and scientifically managed.

Eyebrows were raised as hemlines went up. Contraceptives became available, and abortion and homosexuality were legalised.

These were years of increased social mobility, a time of impatience with the old class domination. The country was full of little Harolds and lesser Teds, bright men and women from lower middle-class or working class families who were rising fast through business, universities and the professions, who hugely admired such leaders.

When Wilson talked of the scientific revolution that would transform Britain, his audience included tens of thousands of managers and engineers, in their off-the-peg tweed jackets and flannel trousers, who shared his vision entirely.

 

In the early 60s, the wartime generation were still in control of the country. But a cascade of reforms happened later in the decade, headed by the liberal Home Secretary Roy Jenkins, who detected an appetite for « a more civilised society ».

So divorce became easier, hanging was abolished, homosexuality decriminalised for men over 21 and abortion was legalised. And the older Britons who grew up in a time characterised by deference and order thought the country was turning into a permissive and irresponsible society. One thing was certain. Britain was becoming a more divided one, on several fronts.

 

Mass protests were staged over the Vietnam War, but they failed to persuade Wilson to condemn the country’s creditor, the US. And among white Britons here were fears Britain was under siege from Commonwealth immigrants, a feeling stirred up by Tory outsider Enoch Powell in his famous « rivers of blood » speech in 1968. And the Sixties ended as they began, with protests. There were seven million working days lost to strikes in 1969. Even the Mini, held up as a triumph for British design, provided a dark warning about the future of British business and manufacturing because it was sold too cheaply. The optimism of the Sixties was starting to evaporate and it was clear there were tough times ahead.

 

Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain continues on BBC Two on Tuesday, 29 May, at 2100 BST.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6692503.stm

 

1. Vocabulary (5 marks)

Find the English equivalents for the words hereafter. Their order follows the text.

Espion – effronté, impertinent – renforcer – s’attaquer à – caricaturé – ébranler – entêtant – clamer, annoncer – l’aube – dépoussiérer – suranné, vieillot – lugubre – désuet, pittoresque – s’étioler – impitoyable – épuré – ourlet – prêt-à-porter – initié par – ravivé

 

2. Translate the two italicized passages from the text into French (2 marks):

a) Not since before the Romans invaded had long-haired people wandered around in public wearing so little. And not since the early Christians had love been so earnestly declared the answer to almost everything.

b) Huge comprehensive schools would be more efficient and fairer than the maze of selective and rubbish-heap academies. The many hundreds of trade unions would resolve themselves into a few leviathans, known only by their initials.

 

3. Using the text but without copying from it, answer the following questions in about 50 words (3 marks).

a) Why is the Cliveden episode considered as a symbol of new times ahead?

b) Why was Britain become a more permissive society?

c) Why does the author say that “Britain was becoming a more divided one, on several fronts”?

 

4. Analyzing the text (3 marks): The author suggests that 1960s Britain was a classless society. Which elements from the text could justify this opinion? Which other elements studied in class may contradict his judgment? Was Britian a country giving its citizens equal opportunities in the 1960s? (100 words)

 

5. Essay writing: Can films have a real social or political impact? Don’t forget to discuss examples in your essay (7 marks).

 

1. Vocabulary (5 marks)

Find the English equivalents for the words hereafter. Their order follows the text.

Espion : SPY                          effronté, impertinent : BRASH         renforcer : STOKE

s’attaquer à : TACKLE          caricaturé : LAMPOON                   ébranler : RIP OPEN

entêtant : HEADY                clamer, annoncer : HAIL                   l’aube : THE DAWN dépoussiérer : SCRAP            suranné, vieillot : FUSTY                  lugubre : GRIM

désuet, pittoresque : QUAINT s’étioler : WITHER                        impitoyable : RUTHLESS

épuré : SLEEK                       ourlet : HEMLINES                          prêt-à-porter : OFF THE PEG                                               initié par : HEADED BY                  ravivé: STIRRED UP

 

2. Translate the two italicized passages from the text into French (2 marks):

a) Not since before the Romans invaded had long-haired people wandered around in public wearing so little. And not since the early Christians had love been so earnestly declared the answer to almost everything.

Depuis avant l’invasion Romaine, on n’avait pas vu de gens aux cheveux longs déambuler en public aussi peu vêtus. Et personne depuis les premiers chrétiens n’avait déclaré avec autant de conviction que l’amour était la réponse à presque tous les problèmes.

b) Huge comprehensive schools would be more efficient and fairer than the maze of selective and rubbish-heap academies. The many hundreds of trade unions would resolve themselves into a few leviathans, known only by their initials.

De gigantesques écoles publiques seraient plus efficaces et plus justes que le réseau labyrinthique d’instituts d’excellence et d’écoles poubelles. Les innombrables centaines de syndicats fusionneraient en quelques Léviathans dont on ne connaîtrait que les initiales.

 

3. Using the text but without copying from it, answer the following questions in about 50 words (3 marks).

a) Why is the Cliveden episode considered as a symbol of new times ahead?

The Cliveden episode was a harbinger of change because the two celebrities involved in the scandal, namely John Profumo and Miss Keeler “were from two different worlds”. Their liaison symbolized a deep social change as the old Britain, with its elite and tradition was giving way to a younger, more democratic society embodied by Miss Keeler. The meeting of two different classes and worlds seemed to foreshadow the classless society hailed by Harold Wilson and the end of the establishment that the author likens to “a clique”.

 

b) Why was Britain becoming a more permissive society?

Britiain was becoming more permissive because the British were growing more tolerant. Young men were no longer obliged to cut their hair short or dress in austere grim clothes. Eyebrows were not raised anymore whenever a young woman wore a mini-skirt. Sexual life changed too with the contraceptive pill freeing women. Abortion was legalized too so that women could regulate their lives more freely. Besides divorce was possible. Homosexuality was no longer illegal so that the moral codes that had been particularly stiff during the Victorian and Edwardian period gradually loosened.

 

c) Why does the author say that “Britain was becoming a more divided one, on several fronts”?

If the boundaries separating the upper from the lower classes gradually eroded, the author claims that Britain was still divided. As a matter of fact, international conflicts, such as the Vietnam War, sparked protests and turmoil. Besides, racism, as expressed in Enoch Powel’s speech, became divisive with migrant communities living a separated secluded life. A number of strikes, among which the unforgettable miners’ strike, showed that the workers and the factory owners still lived in two separate worlds. In spite of the prevailing optimism, many conflicts perpetuated the gap between sections of the population.

 

 

4. Analyzing the text (3 marks): The author suggests that 1960s Britain was a classless society. Which elements from the text could justify this opinion? Which other elements studied in class may contradict his judgment? Was Britian a country giving its citizens equal opportunities in the 1960s? (100 words)

Harold Wilson announced a classless Britain in which the unions would be involved in national politics and in which children would be educated in comprehensive schools. Political life was growing more democratic as the modernization of England was headed by a new class of rulers and managers who had inherited no particular privilege. The author refers to “years of social mobility” and hints at working class men and women climbing up the career ladder, “rising fast through business”.

However, if it was becoming easier for ordinary people to get economic or political responsibilities and if the overall purchasing power increased, thereby boosting consumption, some Britons were still in dire straits. In the late sixties, not all housing problems had been solved and Ken Loach’s Cathy Come Home evidenced a lasting housing crisis. Wages could be very low, making it impossible for entire families to get decent lodgings. The new estates subsidized by the state were only a dream for the poorest workers. The various strikes culminating in the Winter of Discontent also disclosed a social malaise. The workers demanding pay rises were excluded from Wilson’s classless society. Women were particularly vulnerable.

 

 

5. Essay writing: Can films have a real social or political impact? Don’t forget to discuss examples in your essay (7 marks).

Phrases erronées  
The sixties were a prosperity time.

 

The sixties were a period of prosperity. : A thriving period. In the 60s, Britain was thriving.
The English discovered the poor workers world. The English discovered the poor workers’ world / the culture and life of poor workers.
Their childrens Their children
The average british child go in school The average British child goes to school / attends school.
There are peoples living in… There are people…
Maybe, Ken Loach wanted this result KL may have wanted this result / This may have been KL’s intention
Without Cathy Come Home, they may be never heard about the poor workers condition. … the public may never have heard of the conditions of the poor workers.
The strength of picture make people realized. The expressivity of the picture makes people realize.

Make someone do / have someone to

Become aware

Raise someone’s awareness

It is easier to use movies than books to diffuse ideas. Reading provokes an effort. To convey a message

To disseminate / propagate ideas

To spread a message

Reading requires an effort.

Diffused on the BBC, Cathy Come Home… Broadcast on the BBC,
The condition of diffusion permit a best reception. The broadcasting conditions permit a better reception.
If movies can be use to denounce political or social problems. This method can have some limits. If movies can be used to denounce political or social problems, their influence / clout / impact is limited.
A political willing is necessary. Political will
There are a lot of movies about women rights, but women have ever inequal pay. There are a lot of movies about women’s rights, but women still have lower wages / but the wages gap is not bridged yet.
A lot of country A lot of countries
Since the beginning of cinema film makers produced (…) committed movies. Since the beginnings of the cinema, film makers have produced committed movies.
Politics is a complex field in which the game of forces is not evident to understand. Politics is a complex field in which power-relations are unfathomable.
To tug at the heartstring of the audience Film-makers strike a deep chord in their audiences.
The film did not have concrete and immediate answers from the state, for measure take a long time to be decided and implemented. The film failed to trigger immediate responses from the government because the decision-making process is long and the implementation of new laws is equally long.
The responsibility of France in the Holocaust France’s responsibility in
Movies highlight issues that have less chances to be ignored if they are everywhere in the media. Movies highlight issues that are more likely to touch the public when in the media.
Social disease Social malaise
Salary of women Women’s salary / wages
The most influent film The most influential film
Illegal immigrants’ situation The situation of illegal migrants
The target of a film is to prevent people. It has a role to show what happen. The aim / goal of a film is to raise people’s awareness, showing what happens in society.
A film, it’s a form for director to defend his point of view. Through a film, a director may put forward his point of view / advocate his ideas.
Britain don’t try to find solutions. The government doesn’t try to find solutions;
What was the film maker aim? How he shot his movie? Were the film shown at the television? What was the film-maker’s aim? How did he shoot his movie? Was the film broadcast on TV?
Althougt it gives feeling to the spectator, it not clearly denounce an inequality. Although it moves the viewers, the film does not denounce any inequality.
The spectator feels less revolt than looking at Cathy Come Home. The spectator is less angered / ired than whe he watches CCH
What has been done and what has to be down now, but without asking a direct solution. What has to be done
The exemple The example / exemplify
Ken Loach, the british realisator committed The British film-maker
CCH tells the life of a family, without home, Recounts / narrates the life of a homeless family
The film is very near to the truth Close to / near

The film is life-like

It’s (CCH) a great TV success. Perhaps because a lot of people knows this situation. The huge success CCH enjoyed may be due to the fact that the viewers knew this could happen to them.
It’s another gender, more light, Nigel Cole tells the strike of Dagenham. Made in Dagenham, by Nigel Cole, belong to a different, lighter genre, even though it focuses on a strike.
In 1968, the Ford manufactury of Britain knows a problem. The women, who worked there, fight the wage gap… Back in 1968, Ford, the world-famous car-manufacturer, had to face a strike called by women machinists eager to bridge the wage gap.
The film is more fun than CCH but he shows the difficult life style of women. The film is more funny than CCH but it shows women’s hard living-conditions.
A current subject in the society A topical issue: un problem d’actualité
This two examples remember the different problem These two examples remind us of the fact that the British society was still plagued with social problems.
The risponsibilities of the power who must… The responsibilities of the government
A lot of people love to look movie to have a good instant. Most people enjoy watching / seeing movies to relax / unwind.
…this kind of movie is more and more regarded More and more people watch this type of movie. This type of movie reaches a wider and wider audience.
CCH, of Ken Loach who is a movie who denounces the government in Britain… CCH, by KL, is a movie which denounces the failing of the British rulers.
Ken Loach is one of the more realisator KL is one of the most committed film-maker
A such movie Such a movie is likely to change people’s view
The movie maker say the strikes… The movie maker says
This is the women what make strike. The women were the ones who were on strike
She are only 300 over 10 000 men. They were only 300 out of 10 000 men
She want a sex equality. They claimed sex equality / they fought for
The same paid that men Equal pay / the same wages as men
She has making a strike and the work is stopped. They went on strike and the factory came to a standstill
The little strike A brief strike
The work minister The Minister / Secretary of State for Labour and Employment
The movie say the woman revolution, in a society government by the men. The movie depicts a women’s revolution in a male-dominated society
The Britain society The British society
The crisis that come from in US The crisis which originated in the US
An equality sexual Sex equality
A legality avortement Legal abortion
The woman have rassembled all the society for her cause. Women garnered support for their cause.
I admit in an other hand it’s difficult… On the other hand, I admit it is difficult.
The first film which was show to the public has a scene with atrain which seemed to… The first film (which was) shown / screened featured a train which seemed to head towards the viewers
Affraid afraid
There are several kind of movies, trying to change peoples’ mind. There are various types of movies whose goal / purpose is to alter people’s views.
Post-war movies likes Les sensations de la gloire ; trying to show another reality of the war. Post war films such as Les Sensations de la gloire, offer a different picture of the war and show the other side of the coin (le revers de la médaille)
… movies made to make appear a reality not recognize by the authorities. Movies make visible a reality that may be concealed by the States or the authorities.
Actually

In out actual society

Currently / In today’s society / Nowadays
A powerful mean A powerful means of
A reality hidden by politics A reality concealed by politicians
A huge polemic A terrific / huge / significant controversy
Permited the creation of new helps Permitted / allowed the implementation / creation of new aides / benefits
So the film have had a real social impact but also politic. So the film had a real social and political impact.
People reproched Ken Loach his realism. People blamed KL for his realism / accused him of being too crudely realistic.
Is ridiculised Is turned into ridicule
The question is why some movies have a political impact? The question is: why do some movies have a political impact ?
In the public area The public arena
The Irak war The war in Iraq
A debate between the people who were pro-war and against it. A debate between pro-war people and pacifists.
…he has two course of action. Whether he focuses on changing the mentalities or he chooses a totally new subject. ?
Choosed Choose, chose, chosen
…a way to bring the awareness on the inequalities… A way to raise people’s awareness of inequalities / to sensitize people to…
I’m not saying that it has change everybody’s mind on the subject but maybe some people have. Obviously it hasn’t changed everybody’s viewpoint on the subject but it may have changed some people’s.
It put in light the problem of homelessness It highlighted / put in the limelight homelessness
To aware consciousness To raise people’s awareness
Use technical aspects Technical devices (procédés techniques)
Such movies made the people who’ve watched them focused on social problems. Some movies make the viewers focus on…
These films created many debates on the TV, to find solutions. These films sparked debates on TV and incited decision-makers to respond quickly.
Interested by a bad movie Interested in a bad-quality movie.
A film perfectly turned A perfectly shot film.
…because it’s real, it seems to the reality. Because it’s real, it looks as if it were the reality.
If the world know modernisation the poors know the hard life. In most people benefitted from modernization, the poor were still living a strenuous, harsh life.
Ken Loach wants see KL wants to show
The negatifs points The negative aspects / the defects / the liabilities
Some films describe social inequalities, as CCH or MID, which we have seen. Some films, such as …, which we studied, picture / document social inequalities.
These films want to give a message These films intend to convey a message.
…the feelings play an important role because this is with us that people feel concerned. Feelings matter as it is through them that people feel concerned / as people feel concerned when their emotions are awoken.
We can said that… We can say that.
Producers of films which speak about social problems Film-makers who tackle / deal with / focus on social issues.
The reason of the success The reason for the success
Politicians are always attentive of these message, this is why prohibition exist. Politicians always pay attention to these messages, hence censorship / as censorship evidences.
Protestations movements Protests.
…they can have a influence on politicians and law, as the exemple of CCH. They can exert an influence on politicians and law-makers, as the example of CCH illustrates.
To know if films can have a real social or political impact, the first question which we had to answer is: do the social problems that the film tries to denounce are contemporain that the film? To decide whether films can have a real or social impact we should first answer the following question: Are the social issues dealt with in the film contemporary to it? Is the film-maker addressing his times’ scourges?
…women working in Ford’s strife for gender gap is great. The strife against the gender gap led by women working at Ford factory.
Who are asked by the film? ?
The film maker would to wake up the government about the problems of living conditions for people who lost their house, their work… The film-maker wanted to raise the government’s awareness of poverty and homelessness. He wanted to make the government realize how difficult were the lives and working conditions of the poor.
If any member of state looks this film, it’s not the little worker who can change the world. To have a real impact, the film must be seen by policy-makers as ordinary viewers are powerless in the face of such problems.
A film must be showed at a great number of people A film must reach a wide audience.
The weapons’s traffic Weapon trafficking.
Do war Wage war
Snce the beginning of the cinema directors tried to alert the public against the problems of societies… Since the cinema was invented, film-makers have tried to sensitize the viewers to social issues.
Most of the science fiction movies are the expression of the Cold War fear. Most sci-fi movies mirror the anguish that characterized the Cold War period
…without director feeling ? the feelings of the director
I think the objectivity is something too hard for an artist. Objectivity is too hard to reach. No artist can be objective.
It’s depens It depends on
A movie can change the people opinion. A movie can change people’s opinions.
CCH, a Ken Loach’s movie CCH, a movie by KL,
A poor family who are homeless and tries to A poor homeless family tries to…
This film was choquing the people and political The film shocked both TV viewers and politicians.
…should have a impact on actual people, specially the women Should have an impact on today’s viewers, especially on women.
It’s a comedy, no serious, so it’s hard to explain something very importante… It’s a none-too-serious comedy yet it addresses serious issues.
You are watching the movie, and during you are watching, you are thinking: “Oh it’s terrible and anjust… You watch the movie and as you’re watching you realize how terrible and unfair the situation is.
We trust the past is worse as now We think the past is worse than the present.
If the people are aright with the director theory, the government are waiting a little, and no change the lay. ? be of a mind with someone, agree with, share someone’s opinion.

Do not change the law

I think that films can really have social or political impact. Indeed, as the film ‘Intouchable’ in France. I consider that films, such as Intouchables, can actually have an impact.
…drived politics to watch it and develop their works around the questions ask in the film. …spur / incite / encourage politicians to watch the film and take it into account when elaborating their agendas / platforms.
In a first time … in another time… On the one hand … on the other hand
The films can change all we think about the society before seen it. Films can change our outlook on the society.
It shows to people that… It shows people that they can…
There is many things There are many things
CCH has been filmed as a documentary. Has been shot like
Optimistics thoughts Optimistic opinions / thoughts
The social government The Labour government
Tuff live Tough
The social government was blaimed to be not enough efficient. The Labour government was blamed for not being efficient enough.
During the WWII Dring WWII
I think the cinema is one of the three big powers in world with the journalism and the religions. In my view, the cinema, alongside religion and the press, is one of the three most important levers / forces in the world.
An exange between people An exchange / debate / discussion
The film denounces the social reality about homelessness and as is easy to become homelessness because of laws of government. The film shows how easy it is to fall into poverty and become a homeless given legal loopholes.
Thank to films there is more of people who are aware. Thanks to the film, more people are aware of the issue.
A film can changed the ideas and pushed the government to do something, with the pression. A film can change ideas and pressurize the government into acting / responding.
Camera introduces troubles in the reality The camera slightly distorts the reality.
CCH, who talk about myseri, chocked the people. CCH, which resorts to suspense and mystery, shocked the people.
…impulsed, forced the gouvernement to the action. Spurred the government to act
A social effect, but no on the longer A social but short-term effect.
A trick to deturn the people of this matter A trick to divert people’s attention from the issue.
A film may make take aware people of society problems, about people who are excluded A film may make people aware that some citizens are excluded.

 

Veillez à la coherence des pronoms; à la coherence des temps.

Ne bâtissez pas tout l’essai sur un film car la question est plus large que la discussion autour du film de Ken Loach par exemple.

Utilisez d’autres références cinématographiques.

Délimiter le champ d’investigation du sujet (fiction, documentaires, TV et cinéma, etc.) et cerner bien la question posée.

Organisez les paragraphes de manière pertinente. Ne séparez pas par un saut de ligne des phrases qui font partie du même raisonnement.

Relisez vous pour voir si vous n’avez pas oublié les ‘s’ de 3e personne.

Respectez la méthodologie de l’introduction.

Soyez précis : ex Britain did not solve the housing crisis. De quel gouvernement parlez-vous? Ex : We think that the cinema cannot be objective. Qui est ‘we’ ?

Travailler le plan de votre argumentation.

 

Intro

1. Documentaries are meant to raise people’s awareness of several topical issues but sometimes fail to reach a wide audience.

2. Broadcasting conditions determine the political/ social impact of films.

3. Comedies and entertaining movies can deal with serious social issues.

4. By emphasizing emotions and helping the viewers identify with the characters, movies can change people’s outlook.

5. A few historical films or bio-epics can alter people’s understanding of history and have an impact on their vision of topical issues.

CL: Few films spark the enactment of new laws or trigger concrete responses from the government but many contribute to changing perceptions and may therefore alter voting behaviors.