COMING OUT OF THE BLACK COUNTRY is an intimate portrait of the Reverend Stanley Underhill who looks back at his challenging life and struggles with mental health and his own sexuality.

Growing up in the highly industrialised, economically impoverished region of the Black Country in the 1920s and 1930s, Stanley Underhill found himself in a society shaped by cultural ignorance, (working) class-consciousness and ideals

of masculinity which seethed as insidiously as the ’satanic mills’ that dominated the landscape of his childhood. As a gay man, this experience led Stanley to a struggle with his own sexuality that was to consume most of his life.

I started this project in 2019 after meeting Stanley Underhill at a presentation of his book ‘COMING OUT OF THE BLACK COUNTRY‘. Within a few weeks of filming and communicating with each other we became close friends. Through Stanley I met the writer Dave Allison and the filmmaker Andy Carrol who had been involved in the publication and promotion of Stanley’s book. For a while we collaborated on a number of short pieces related to this project. However, due to logistical reasons, collaboration on this film became too difficult. Therefore, I continued on my own until March 2020 when the pendemic hit! Despite having worked continuously on this project in the last years, filming only recommenced in 2022. I am still looking for funding, but meanwhile here is an early trailer for this project. (Courtesy of am & c)