Loosely based on Ronald Blythe's acclaimed book Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village, this unassuming yet powerful film traces three generations of one Suffolk family and their lives in the farming industry.
Described as a work of rural realism, and shot in sumptuous widescreen, Akenfield features a cast of non-professional actors drawn from the communities of several Suffolk villages. Featuring improvised dialogue and shot mostly as weekends over the course of a year, the film offers an authentic depiction of country life over the changing seasons.
With all three generations grandfather, father and son performed by the same actor (local farmer Garrow Shand), the film paints a compelling picture of a traditional way of life facing a period of great change, brought about by the industrialisation of the twentieth century.
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