Dedham Film festival

for people who love film

2 - 17 October 2015


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Akenfield (1974)

Play Movie

Date: Friday 28th September

Time: 2pm

Location: The Assembly Rooms

Event Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes with interval

Certificate PG

Price: £3.50

The most famous film made in Suffolk, this beautiful and moving film is adapted from Ronald Blythe's novel and directed by Sir Peter Hall. It tells the story of a momentous day in the life of the central character Tom, in the Suffolk village of Akenfield.

The film begins on the day of a funeral. For Tom it is also a day of decision, the death of his grandfather forcing him to decide between continuing to live in the village of Akenfield or maybe trying to better himself elsewhere. During the day, as Tom wrestles with his future, he continually encounters his dead grandfather, who sixty years earlier also tried to leave, but failed.

Made in 1974, this film was considered innovative because most of the cast were not professional actors and the film was screened on London Weekend television at the same time it was shown in the cinemas. Back in 1974 it was regarded more for its innovation rather than for being a 'classic piece of work'. However, Akenfield has withstood the test of time better than most films of its generation. Capturing a snapshot of life in the countryside more than thirty years ago it has become a piece of East Anglian history in its own right. Life on a farm in Suffolk has changed so dramatically since the 1970's and it is unlikely we will ever see anything quite like it again.

When first shown in 1974 Akenfield attracted some 14 million viewers, a rating most programme makers today can only dream of.

Refreshments will be available before the performance and during the interval.

"Peter Hall took the tradition of naturalistic theatre into film, turning the stories of people's lives into drama. Hailed as a masterpiece on its release, the film cuts to the heart of a side of British life that has since almost entirely died out An innovative film."
The Guardian, 20 November, 2004