Professor Esther Johnson’s ASUNDER screening at the BFI

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Update (02 September 2021)

Esther was recently interviewed about the making of ASUNDER – find out more here.


Still from Esther Johnson's ASUNDER

Still from Esther Johnson’s ASUNDER

There will be a special screening of Professor Esther Johnson‘s WW1 feature film ASUNDER at the BFI in London on Saturday 04 September at 1200.

The screening will be introduced Director/co-producer Esther Johnson, and co-producer Bob Stanley. Please note this event will begin promptly at 1200.

ASUNDER tells the story of what happened to an English town during the First World War, with almost all of its men fighting abroad, and its women and children left behind. The North east was in the front line, thanks to its shipyards and munitions factories. Using footage from 96 separate archive films and contemporary footage and audio, ASUNDER collages the stories of people from Tyneside and Wearside to uncover what life was like on the home front, with bombs falling on Britain for the first time, conscientious objectors sentenced to death, and women working as doctors, tram conductors and footballers. The narration for the film is voiced by journalist Kate Adie, with the actor Alum Armstrong as the voice of the Sunderland Daily Echo & Shipping Gazette.

Still from Esther Johnson's ASUNDER

Still from Esther Johnson’s ASUNDER

The film team created a free learning resource for schools in which children are encouraged to create their own songs inspired by the stories researched for the film.

Watch the film trailer with Closed Captions here:

Find out more about Esther’s work here:

Esther Johnson works at the intersection of artist moving image and documentary. Her poetic portraits focus on marginal worlds, revealing resonant stories that may otherwise remain hidden or ignored. Work has been exhibited internationally in 40 countries, and has also featured on television and radio. In 2012 Johnson won the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Performing and Visual Arts for young scholars. She is a Professor of Film & Media Art at Sheffield Hallam University. Find out more about Esther’s work here.

ASUNDER is co-commissioned by Sunderland Cultural Partnership and 14–18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported by The National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sunderland Business Improvement District, Culture Bridge North East and Sir James Knott Trust.

ASUNDER is on Twitter @1916asunder, at you can find out more on Esther’s website here.