The Bronte Business (1977)

This documentary from 1977 examines the effect that the Bronte sisters had on tourism to their hometown of Haworth in Yorkshire (as of 1977).

This documentary was certainly diverting as it explained how the little Yorkshire town was reacting to being the centre of a tourism bubble and visited by Bronte enthusiasts.

Despite the fact that I have read and enjoyed writings by the Brontes in the past, this documentary was very forgettable because it focused on the town itself rather than the Brontes. It was interesting hearing about how tourists affected Haworth’s local trade but ultimately this was not the best documentary I’ve watched.

When high 19th century infant mortality rates were mentioned it was rather sad because it was a fact of life back in the days of the Brontes. Charlotte Bronte herself died of  hyperemesis gravidarum. It is frightening to think that the average life expectancy at the time was a mere 24 years and almost half of children died before the age of six.

Because of the documentary’s layout it came across more as some sort of public service announcement than anything watchable. It was also shorter than a typical documentary at around 25 minutes long.

I’m not saying that it is in any way a bad documentary but I would honestly want to watch perhaps an updated version of this if one was ever made because in the intervening 40 years people have changed socially and ideologically. However, with no doubt Bronte films and documentaries will always be made by the bucketload.

MY RATING: *** / *****


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