As bomb-damaged cities began to be rebuilt after the war, Suschitzky made photographs and films recording aspects of urban growth and change. His photographs document several cities including London, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen. This is a staged image taken from a public information film made for the Ministry of Information. The film warns how easily children could fall into a life of crime, telling the story of three boys who break into a shop. The boys attend one of the new Children’s Panels, introduced to determine the fate of children who became involved in petty crime. In this photograph, the graffiti-covered building in the background, simple clothes and worn-out shoes of the children show the reality of urban life.
This photograph was taken in Dundee during the filming of a documentary entitled 'Children of the City'. Around the end of the Second World War, it was feared that boys growing up without the fathers who had been killed in the war might drift innocently into crime. The film was made for the Ministry of Information in 1944 and presented the new childrens' panels which were designed to deal with the problem of delinquency. This image was staged from one of the opening scenes.
Wolfgang Suschitzky, a photographer and cameraman born in Vienna, became one of the leading documentary makers on the British film market. He came to England in 1934 and signed up with Paul Rotha's Strand Films company in London. In a career spanning sixty years he has shot over a hundred films for both government agencies and commercial companies, including classics such as Ring of Bright Water (1969) and Get Carter (1970). Wherever he travelled, he also took his stills camera, snatching time from film making to build a significant archive of documentary photographs.