"Three years ago I was looking at all the new developments in London and was surprised to see how much of the construction happened on old council estate land.
I started wondering why the councils wanted to sell off their valuable assets and whether there were alternatives.... That's how Concrete Soldiers UK began...
- Three years later and Concrete Soldiers UK is not only answering my questions but it has also become a film about the fighting spirit that I encountered on the way.
I was so impressed by people and their tireless campaigning in situations which often ended with a negative outcome. It's easy to see why people would become discouraged and just give up. But some haven't and some even managed to succeed in their campaigns. That's what Concrete Soldiers UK is all about.
There has been no funding for this project and there is no-one who is looking to profit from this film. My main objective is to make it accessible to as many people as possible, so there will be a download link available in the future.
Until then keep checking our social media or this website for updates. And please do arrange your own screening. This film was made for sharing,
‘Concrete Soldiers UK’ is a new documentary film by Nikita Woolfe, looking at an under-reported scandal in London and across the country — the social cleansing of council estates. Starved of funds by central government, councils and housing associations are entering into deals with private developers in which, instead of renovating estates, they are being demolished and rebuilt. The developers make huge profits, but existing tenants, and leaseholders are squeezed out, socially cleansed from their homes, and often from the boroughs in which they have lived for years, for decades, or for their whole lives.
Focusing in particular on the experiences of those living on the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark, and Central Hill and Cressingham Gardens in Lambeth, the film exposes how councils bully residents into making decisions about their homes without proper consultation and also uncovers how developers have found loopholes to avoid building affordable housing.
It also looks at the Grenfell Tower fire in June, and the response of some who are saying that tower blocks built in the 1960s and 70s should be demolished. Politicians and journalists claim they are ‘criminally unsafe’, unfit for purpose as housing, and that their maintenance swallows up public funds.
But they are wrong. And although the greed has become palpable, and it sometimes seems that people can only stand by and watch this destruction take place, there is resistance, from people fighting for our future social housing. Working tirelessly, these people are fighting the system because they believe that by sheer persistence they can make a difference.
The film encourages viewers to have hope, and a belief that a fairer future is out there.
EPK and stills from the film can be downloaded here:
We want the TRUTH...
And then there is the ongoing fight for justice for the Grenfell Tower victims. Watch 'The Truth about Grenfell Tower' a meeting organised by ASH about what really happened....
This film is dedicated to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
CONCRETE SOLDIERS uk
Narrated by AndyWorthington
Director/Producer Nikita Woolfe
Executive Producers Mike and Nikita Woolfe
Main Camera Nikita Woolfe
Dan Davies - Banyak Films
Production Manager Gill Hewlett-Case
Editor Nikita Woolfe
Grade Luc Beloix
Music Composer Rafal Arciszewski - Engine Heart Prods
Sound Design Benjamin Luke
Researcher Jacob Hewlett-Case
Additional Support Benjamin Ross
Music track - 'MOVED ON'
by Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith