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An Unflinching Eye: The Films of Richard Woolley on 4-disc DVD in July

14 July 2021

Tackling controversial themes, such as class, race, sexuality and the human instinct for violence, Richard Woolley wrote and directed a number of radical and uncompromising films in the 1970s and 80s. Variously seen in cinemas, on television and in international film festivals during that period, they became almost impossible to see afterwards. In them, Woolley explores the ways we relate to, and ultimately destroy one another, even as we strive to develop the means to better understand and communicate with those around us.

After a limited release in 2011, the BFI is to re-issue the films in a 4-disc DVD set on 26 July. The collection includes short films, interviews and two previously unreleased audio commentaries by the director along with a newly produced illustrated booklet.

This set offers the opportunity to experience first-hand the power of these extraordinary and unique films. It includes Illusive Crime, which caused outrage upon its release in 1976; Telling Tales, Woolley’s much acclaimed soap-meets-Straub debut feature from 1978; 1981’s controversial Brothers and Sisters, with its echoes of the fear generated by the Yorkshire Ripper murders; and Woolley’s final film, Girl from the South (1988), which views the experience of Black Britons through the prism of an interracial relationship.

An Unflinching Eye: The Films of Richard Woolley DVD cover art

An Unflinching Eye: The Films of Richard Woolley will be released as a 4-disc DVD set by the BFI on 26 July 2021 at the RRP of £24.99.


  • Audio commentary on Brothers and Sisters and Telling Tales (2011): never-before-released audio commentaries by director Richard Woolley
  • Kniephofstrasse (1974, 24 mins): complex but compelling formalist film, which investigates the relationship between sound and image
  • Drinnen und Draussen (Inside and Outside ) (1974, 34 mins): experimental narrative film exploring conformity in East and West Germany
  • Waiting for Alan (1984, 42 mins): unconventional, minutely observed domestic drama centred on the ritualised boredom of a middle-class housewife
  • Video interviews with Richard Woolley (79 mins total): split over four discs, Richard Woolley discusses his career and films
  • New illustrated booklet featuring an essay by Anthony Nield and Richard Woolley’s article ‘Writer as Director: a Case Study – Brothers and Sisters’, originally published in the Screenwriters Research Network’s Journal of Screenwriting in 2015, notes on the special features and full credits