All films are available on DVD – click image to see a trailer.
Framed through a letter to the Marxist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg Resisters is both a celebration of Berlin’s 100 years of resistance to fascism and a call to action against nationalism. Taking a two-fold journey through Berlin, a geographical one and a psychic one, Daniels Jewish flaneuse reflects on Berlin’s turbulent history of revolution and resistance to fascism, and the dangerous growth of the nationalist AfD who became the main opposition party in 2017. Resisters follows the activities of the Omas Gegen Rechts (Grandmothers against the Right) who organise to fight the nationalist AfD who in 2017 became the strongest opposition party in the German Parliament. In poetic vignettes Daniels’ voice, over slow-motion shots of streets and parks recounts the stories of resisters to fascism before and during the Third Reich. The fictionalised re-imagining of herself as witness to resistance brings into the light what may be still repressed and hidden.
2019 – 8 mins
Part agit-prop, part essay film, Breathing Still creates a compelling portrait of Berlin, as the right wing nationalist party the AfD wins members in Parliament for the first time. Weaving together voice-over, stills, archive and found footage, Daniels’ flaneuse, a follower of the Polish revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg, who was assassinated by the Freikorps fascists nearly a century ago, explores Berlin’s memorials to Luxemburg and the Jews who once lived there.
Journey to the South
2017 – 50 mins
Journey to the South is a compelling poetic documentary about a village, Castellar, in the south of France.
Katherine Mansfield struggles to write her stories, Pierre, a murdered shepherd reflects on the need to bear witness and the life of the village goes on. Daniels’ film is a rich meditation on past and present, on life and death, on creativity and what it means to be a human being.
My Private Life II
2015 – 25 mins
In the re-editing of her feature documentary My Private Life (2014) Daniels creates in My Private Life II, a powerful split screen view of the effect on her Jewish family history of her father’s unacknowledged sexuality. The characters appear in different screens to create different aspects of the complex familial relationships between parents and daughter.
My Private Life
2014 – 63 mins
An autobiographical film that explores the lives of Jill Daniels’ socially repressed Jewish parents, Barbara and Bertie, when divorce was a stigma, and homosexuality illegal – and in the eyes of observant Jews, a sin. Moving from house to house, country to country, through divorce, remarriage and physical violence – rich one day and broke the next – Barbara and Bertie spend their last days together in a small flat in suburban London.
The Border Crossing
2011 – 47 mins
In this innovative film set in the Basque country, award-winning filmmaker Jill Daniels creates an evocative story of her own past through the wanderings of a young woman on both sides of the French/Spanish border while an unnamed man drives through the rain at night.
2009 – 40 mins
Rosa and Carlos, the ghosts of young Spanish civil war republicans, roam the ruins of Belchite in Northern Spain, waiting for the discovery of their unmarked graves.
Small Town Girl
2007, 94 mins.
Shot over five years, a unique portrait of three adolescent girls, it shows the harsh realities of life in two small towns at either end of England at the start of the 21st century.
2007 – 94 mins
Hector was eight when his father brought him to Gainesville, in the heart of the American south. Olga was twelve when her father swam the Rio Grande with her on his back. Thomas was sixteen when his mother put him on a bus alone, with a bag of tacos for the 2000 mile journey. ‘Lost in Gainesville’ retraces their journey.
Next Year in Lerin
2000, BetaSP, colour, 45 mins.
In 1948 during the Greek civil war, 28 thousand children, Greek and Macedonian, were taken from their villages by the communist-led Democratic Army and raised in orphanages in Eastern Europe. The Greeks never allowed the Macedonian children back.50 years later the ‘children’ mark the anniversary of their journey. They dance and sing and yearn for their lost villages.
2004 – 25 mins.
Alice is 29. She and her friends Helen, Lynn and Julie have learning disabilities and it’s hard for them to communicate verbally. Now they play Celtic harps and sing in The Dancing Drum. For them, music says what can’t always be spoken; to feel what can’t otherwise be felt and creates a space where they will be heard.
1991 – 45 mins.
Ruben House is a Jewish old people’s home. Sixty people live intimately, side by side. They measure their days by meal times where salt and sugar are passed reluctantly and pills are taken unwillingly; by keep fit classes and film shows; by Biblical quizzes whose answers are unknown, forgotten or irrelevant.
2002 – 55 mins.
In a moving portrait, Fool’s Gold peels away the layers of affluent colour-co-ordinated shops, cafes and big cars to reveal a community, where people like Myra and Thomas, live out life untouched by the prosperity of tourism, who struggle with poverty but share the little they have with others.
2003 – 5 mins.
A homage to Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Spirits explores the undercurrents of fear and violence when two opposing worlds collide.
2000 – 3 mins.
A compelling and mysterious film based on real events.
1996 – 40 mins.
Daniels tells the story of her Jewish Grandmother Edith who emigrated from Romania to England in 1906 when she was eight years old.
1975, B&W, 16mm, 47 mins.
In Debacle a group of non-professional actors improvise scenes from Jean Paul Sartre’s thriller Crime Passionel and read from The Ipcress File, a thriller novel. The ‘group’ in Debacle has a vague political identity and its violent actions take place elsewhere.
1975 – 40 mins.
Description is shown on two screens. Shot using two cameras simultaneously filming the same subject, it explores the way we extract meaning from the process of describing, visually and aurally, using a minimal and highly structured framework.