View: Video

All You Need's An Excuse

Cat No: DSS0009
Date: 1972
Location: Beckford, North London
Original format: 16mm
Colour: B/W



All You Need’s an Excuse (1972, Liberation Films) is a ten-minute, black and white and colour 16mm film, with the primary aim of encouraging discussion. The film begins with a series of black and white still images of a woman who appears stuck at home with her children for fear of traffic and unsafe play areas. She describes her inability to involve herself in community activities because of shyness and lack of contactwith her neighbors and states: ‘You can’t, without some reason, attempt to get close to somebody. You need an excuse.’ Her isolation is contrasted with colour footage of a group of parents who have occupied a disused piece of land to create a playground forlocal children. A soundtrack of them describing the friendships that they have formed and their shared enthusiasm for improving the neighbourhood accompanies a montage of them working together. The introduction to the Liberation Films’ distribution catalogue describes this project :

'This is the sort of film which broke with traditional documentary, mainly in its potential for provoking discussion within a community situation… the experience of showing All You Need in the context of community discussions, led to the development of a style which incorporated the participants more actively in the structure of the film itself.'

Production Credits

Tony Wickert - Director
Geoff and Marie Richman - Producers


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