Broomfield's graduation project from the National Film and Television School, the film is about the rent strike in Kirkby New Town in 1973, when 3000 residents protested against the Housing Finance Bill. It shows the violent clashes between residents and the police and the social conditions forced upon residents, including appalling housing Conditions and invisible job prospects.
A rent strike is a method of protest commonly employed against large landlords. In a rent strike, a group of tenants come together and agree to refuse to pay their rent en masse until a specific list of demands is met by the landlord. This can be a useful tactic of final resort for use against intransigent landlords, but carries the obvious risk of eviction in some cases.
Historically, rent strikes have often been used in response to problems such as high rents, poor conditions in the property, or unreasonable tenancy demands; however, there have been situations where wider issues have led to such action.
Another type of collective action concerning rental property is a landlords' strike, which is undertaken by a group of landlords. Such an action would be most likely to be undertaken when government tenancy policies (or enforcement thereof) are perceived to be patently unfair to the landlords. The most common means of action in this case would entail the landlords collectively refusing to rent out any vacant and soon-to-be-vacated properties, in hopes of provoking a massive housing shortage that would quickly compel the government to change the relevant policies.