‘What will befall Britain?’
A Diary for Timothy
in Humphrey Jennings
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This chapter provides a clear picture of Jennings' film, A Diary for Timothy, which focuses on the first year in the life of one Timothy Jenkins, born on the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. The film's six sections, each of which is marked by a fade out to a black screen, relate events in the European war and incidents in Timothy's life. A further structural pattern is established through reference to the activities of Alan, a farmer; Goronwy, a miner; Bill, a train driver; and Peter, a wounded RAF pilot. A voice-over commentary, spoken by Michael Redgrave, narrates events and action, and poses questions of the future in store for Timothy and the nation in the wake of the war. A Diary for Timothy more rigorously incorporates images shot specifically for the film, displaying them in formal compositions within the frame.

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