UK, 2011, 19 minutes
Colour, Sound (stereo), HD Video
The Charles Dickens essay Night Walks gives voice to the film, using the text to explore continuities between London’s nocturnal life as it is today, compared with how it was observed 150 years ago. Making the film was a process of retracing Dickens’s footsteps. Iconic landmarks evoke speculative thoughts about the penal system, liminal distinctions between sanity and madness and the hordes of London’s dead. There are striking differences from Dickens’s account of mid Victorian London, though some things remain remarkably consistent, such as when ‘the potmen thrust the last brawling drunkards onto the street’. What would Dickens’s keen eye for social inequality have made of the growing numbers of houseless on the streets of this otherwise glittering cosmopolitan city?
"Raban's camera... matches the solicitude of Dickens' text, where sympathy is pushed to the point of identification with London's poor and homeless." - John Bowen, Times Higher Education