A working-class photographer captures the impact of Thatcherism on the north of England but is unable to escape the poverty and inequality she exposed.
Driven by a commitment to document the impact of deindustrialisation on working class communities in Northeast England in the 1970s and 1980s, Tish Murtha used her camera to expose societal inequality. She felt she had an obligation to the people and problems within her local environment, and that documentary photography could highlight and challenge the social disadvantages that she herself had suffered. However, despite early acclaim for her work, she was unable to make a living from photography and died in poverty.
With Maxine Peake as the voice of Tish, this film is a journey of exploration for Ella Murtha as both daughter and custodian of the Tish Murtha archive, a chance to elevate and preserve a legacy that has been lost and to tell the story of an artist and woman outside of the ‘mother’ that existed for her – or the version of Tish claimed within dominant narratives of the 70s and 80s photography – from the people who knew Tish and the images she left behind.
"...gripping portrait of a passionate photographer of Austerity Britain"