Based on Ronald Blythe's acclaimed oral-history book Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village, Peter Hall's long un-seen, extraordinary film offers a lyrical yet authentic depiction of British pastoral life.
Akenfield tells the story of a farming family who have lived for generations in the bucolic Suffolk village of the film's title. Real-life local farmer Garrow Shand gives a compelling naturalistic central performance, in three roles, as farmhand Tom Rouse, his father and grandfather; a lineage which has experienced hardship, happiness and love, and struggled with the pressures of mechanisation, world war and shifting social mores.
A profoundly romantic work of sublime poetic realism, Akenfield boasts compelling performances from its cast of non-professional actors (drawn from the living communities of several Suffolk villages) and a sweeping, rhapsodic orchestral score composed by Michael Tippett (Fantasia Concertante on a theme by Corelli).
- Brand new 4K digital restoration by the BFI National Archive
- Akenfield Revisited (Rex Pyke, 2004, 39 mins): Making-of documentary with extensive interviews
- Akenfield on Location (1973, 19 mins) 16mm footage capturing the film's production
- On-set interview with Ronald Blythe (1973, 3 mins): interview filmed on the first day of production
- An Interview with Sir Peter Hall (2004, 12 mins): an interview with the film's director
- An Interview with Garrow Shand (2004, 11 mins): an interview with the film s star
- An Interview with Ronald Blythe (2004, 15 mins): an interview with the acclaimed writer
- An Interview with Rex Pyke (2016, 37 mins): newly-filmed interview with the film's producer
- Akenfield Cast and Crew Interview at the National Film Theatre (2004, 27 mins): on-stage interview, presented with original mute 16mm location footage
- Production Stills Gallery (4 mins)
- Fully illustrated booklet with essays by Sir Peter Hall and Ronald Blythe