ABSTRACT

In the British miniseries Shooting the Past (Stephen Poliakoff, 1999), a United States corporation purchases a country house outside of London, which has, until then, been home to an archive of ten million black-and-white photographs and to the small staff who takes care of this collection. The archive staff believe they will continue to tend the collection, but when American developer Christopher Anderson (Liam Cunningham) arrives, he announces that he intends to sell the most financially valuable images, destroy the rest, and disband the archive so as to turn the entire estate into a business school. In response, the rebellious archive staff attempt to prove to the initially indifferent Anderson how historically – rather than financially – valuable the archive is as a whole and to persuade him that the collection must stay together.