Alfredda Brilliant was a Polish-born sculptor who had lived and worked in Russia before escaping Stalin’s persecution of his opponents by moving to London in 1937. Along with her husband, the film-maker Herbert Marshall, she was active in a range of progressive artistic causes. These included writing the filmscript for ‘The Proud Valley’ (1940) in which Paul Robeson starred. Shot on location in the Welsh coalfields, the film portrays the political struggle of a black miner who sacrifices his life for his co-workers in a mining accident. ‘The Proud Valley’ offered an heroic vision of a black worker then quite unthinkable in Hollywood.