Directed by Paul Wright, Music by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp)
Scouring 100 years of archive footage, mainly from the BFI National Archive, BAFTA winner Paul Wright constructs an exhilarating study of the British people’s shifting – and contradictory – relationship to the land. The film goes on a sensory, visceral journey through the contrasting seasons, taking in folk carnivals and fetes, masked parades, water divining and harvesting.
Set to a grand, expressive new score from Adrian Utey (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) alongside folk music from the likes of Anne Briggs, Wright’s captivating film essay captures the beauty and brutality, and the magic and madness of rural Britain.
- Interview with director Paul Wright (2018)
- Peter & Ruby (Colin Gregg, 1973, 35 mins): an intimate portrait of farmer Peter Hannaford as he shows how Dartmoor and its people have shaped his life
- Topical Budget Films: Championship Ploughing Match (1912), The Kibbo Kift (1923), and Oppin makes you Earty! (1925)
- A Day in the Hayfields (1904, 4 mins): Cecil Hepworth’s film of an English midsummer and the hay harvest
- Tame Animals at Work (1909, 6 mins)
- Ancient Cornish Custom (1921, 1 min): local girls dance to the Furry Dance as part of a St. Ives procession
- Old Norse Viking Festival (1927, 4 mins): extraordinary film of Shetland’s famous fire festival Up Helly Aa
- Once We Were Four (1942, 9 mins)
- Fully illustrated booklet with new essay by writer Paul Kingsnorth, and full film credits