Film ID:
YFA 1301



Visitor Tabs


Part of the Yorkshire Media Consortium Project, this film focuses on the lives of four women connected by the fact that they were travelling through the Bradford Interchange at the same time.

The film begins with a sign for Bradford Interchange, to which the letter “s” is added using graphics. A woman, Janet, travels down the street in her wheelchair and she identifies herself by voiceover as being 45 years old and a lesbian. A train pulls into the platform and a woman of Indian origin disembarks. This is Charu, who is 35 and a primary school teacher. Charu passes Janet in the station and uses a public pay phone before sitting down on a bench next to another woman. This is Jo, who is a single parent and holistic therapist. Her star sign is Pisces. Jo takes the escalator and gets on the number 600 bus as a woman dressed in robes and with a shaved head is getting off. This is Kovida, who is 37 and used to live in Bradford.

The next sequence consists of a series of animated words that the four characters have used to describe themselves. This is followed by each of them reading parts of a quote directly into the camera, before the quote appears on screen.

Title - Such labelling always dwarfs us and can only be, at best, a perilously circumscribed version of the truth – Stephanie Dowrick.

Title - “Self”?

Title - 7 minutes each. Nine questions… for a slightly longer description of themselves.

Title - Where do you live?

There is a shot of Janet and her dog in front of her flat in Heaton. Inside, she is helped out of bed by a carer. Charu is seen outside of her house in Lidget Green, wearing a striped woolly jumper. She explains that she now lives alone after spending time in New York with her former boyfriend, and recounts a trip to India to see her relatives.

Jo is standing outside of a house with a Reeds Rains “to let” sign at the front, where she has been living for nine months with her nineteen-year-old son. The pair are seen inside, both hitting tribal drums. Latterly, Kovida is seen outside a house in Shipley where she used to live with her mother. She wears large glasses and a brown robe, and explains that she is now living at the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. Outside there is a sign reading “Nun’s Vihara” before shots of the accommodation and Kovida in prayer position.

Title - Favourite Local Place?

The next question begins with Janet explaining that her favourite place is Cartwright Hall in Lister Park, outside of which she is then seen. Inside the gallery she looks at a painting of Ingleborough, where she had once been on a school trip. The film cuts to Charu who is walking on the moors at Haworth and along the cobbled streets of the village itself. She goes inside The Old Apothecary shop where she smells some of the soap. Jo, sporting large sunglasses, stands overlooking the city and explains that she also has favourite trees as well as places. This is followed by Jo hugging one of said trees. Finally, Kovida is shown walking along the flagstone paths of Ilkley Moor. She picks up a rock which she will put into the foundations of the Buddhist temple.

Title - Relationships?

Janet talks about her life as a lesbian, accompanied by shots of black and white photos. An intertitle appears on screen reading as Janet continues to talk about past and present relationships.

Title - Dip me in honey and throw me to the lesbians

Charu then talks about how she had been expected to have entered into an arranged marriage, but instead chose to leave home and go to university. The interview switches to Jo, who continues to talk about her past marriages. The interviewer asks what her ideal relationship would be, to which Jo replies that she would like to be with someone who works on an oil rig. Following this, Kovida is shown arranging flowers and with her hands clasped in prayer. She talks about the celibacy of her faith and is shown sitting drinking tea at a table with a Buddhist monk.

Title - Attitude to Body?

Firstly, Janet tells of how she used to be something of a tomboy and play in a women’s football team. More archive photos accompany as she recounts the story of her car crash and subsequent paralysis. She is then shown heading down the high street in a motorised wheelchair before the film cuts to Charu, who talks about her “fat phases” and is seen swimming in a pool. Jo responds to the question by taking about her fluctuating weight and hyperactive thyroid, and is shown cutting up vegetables. Finally, Kovida is seen doing meditative yoga exercises and shaving her head in a mirror.

Title - Work?

Janet jokes that she doesn’t work unless you put 10p in her, before telling of her past as a builder and mender. Charu is a primary school teacher and is seen taking the register. The children are painting and Charu then reads her class a story. Following this, Jo is shown massaging her subject by putting gemstones on his oiled back, which she claims is a shamanic ritual taught to her by an American Indian. Kovida enters the Kirkgate Studios and Workshops community craft centre in Shipley, where she is reunited with former colleagues. Whilst walking slowly in a field, she explains that her decision to enter the Buddhist retreat followed a period of depression.

Title - Idea of Happiness?

Janet talks about her ideals of happiness set to a montage of old photos. Charu talks about the beach and sea before Jo replies with her own views on the matter whilst stroking a cat. Kovida is shown opening the door to the Buddhist centre and removing her shoes.

Title - Greatest Act of Courage?

Janet first talks about surviving her accident, then goes on to talk about the Mustn’t Grumble disabled theatre group that she has joined. Shots of the group talking in a circle follow. Charu and Joan also answer the question. Kovida is shown kneeling on a mat in the temple of the Buddhist centre as she too responds.

Title - Spiritual Beliefs?

Janet also turns out to be a Buddhist, and is seen chanting as she talks about her beliefs. The film then cuts to Charu, who is stood outside the Shree Hindu Temple, before she enters the temple and is shown sat down with sticks of incense burning by the altar. Jo lays out some American Indian tarot-style cards and is once again seen tapping a tribal drum. Kovida is then seen praying in the temple to a golden statue of Buddha.

Title - Most important lesson life has taught you?

The four interviewees each answer the question.

Title - Transcendental “Self”?

In the Buddhist centre there are monks and nuns chanting while Kovida rattles off a series of pithy maxims regarding the body and self.

Title - With thanks to Janet, Charu, Jo and Kovida

Title - With thanks also to:
Northern Spirit and Bradford Interchange
Amaravati Buddhist Monastery
Cartwright Hall, Lister Park
The Old Apothecary, Haworth
Manningham Sports Centre Swimming Baths
Newby First School
Kirkgate Studios and Workshops
Shree Hindu Temple

Title - Script Idea, Camera, and Editing: Tam Carr
Sound Assistant: Jo Lily
Music: Pete Long

Title - Bradford Interchanges is part of the A4E Contemporary Video Collection
Produced by Yorkshire Media Consortium
Supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England
Archived by the Yorkshire Film Archive

Title - Copyright 1999 Acorn Video (Bradford) Ltd.