THE WORLDPOST
12/16/2010 02:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

British World War II-Era Propaganda Films Surface Online (VIDEO)

British propaganda films from half a century ago have made their way onto the Internet for the first time, and the kitschy clips are providing viewers with a snapshot -- albeit one that's highly sanitized -- of U.K. life between the 1930s and 1950s.

As the BBC is reporting, the overly cheery vintage scenes showing cricket matches and the delights of London's Kew Gardens had been kept in vaults at the British Film Institute. Some of them were reportedly shot by noteworthy filmmakers of the era, including cinematographer Jack Cardiff and director Ken Annakin.

Martin Davison, the British Council's chief executive, says the clips would have been shown around the world in embassies and consulates, particularly during a time when fascism was quickly spreading around Europe.

"We're showing some very nice snippets of how cultural relations happened in the past, and we can perhaps contrast it with how things happen these days," Davidson told the Guardian. "We now have a much more mutual way of doing things." Thirteen of the films are currently available online, with 160 additional clips to be released in the coming weeks.

Watch footage of the British propaganda films here:

Cricket (1948) from British Council Film Archive on Vimeo.