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Penda’s Fen

Released 23rd May 2016
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Penda's Fen, a short synopsis by David Rudkin:

In the pastoral landscape of Three Choirs England, a clergyman's son, in his last days of school, has his idealistic value-system and the precious tokens of his self-image all broken away - his parentage, his nationality, his sexuality, his conventional patriotism and faith...

Below the slopes of the Malvern Hills he has encounters with an angel, and with a demon, with the ghost of Elgar, the crucified Jesus, and with Penda, England's last pagan king. In the final image, he turns away from his idealized landscape, to go into the world and adulthood with a value-system more anarchistic now, and readier to integrate the contradictions of experience.


In one young man’s search for his sense of self, writer David Rudkin takes us on a magnificently ambiguous metaphysical journey quite unlike any other TV play. The cult status of Penda’s Fen is no doubt due to its potent mix of mysticism, music and landscape which taps into an elemental truth about who we are and our pagan past.

Directed by Alan Clarke (Scum, The Firm) Penda’s Fen is widely considered to be writer David Rudkin’s finest work. Remastered in HD and presented on Blu-ray for the very first time.

- Remastered in HD for the first time

- World premiere home entertainment release

- The Landscape of Feelings: The Road to Penda's Fen (2016, 16 mins): new documentary on the makin gof Rudkin and Clarke's groundbreaking drama, featuring interviews with writer David Rudkin and producer David Rose, as well as contributions from Clark collaborators such as writer David Yallop, actor Sean Chapman and playwright David Leland.
- Illustrated booklet with new writing Sukhdev Sandhu and full credits.
Additional Information
More Information
SKU 5035673020708
Catalogue Number BFIV2070 / BFIB1222
Product contents 1 disc
Year 1974
Director Alan Clarke
Format DVD, Blu-Ray
Publisher(s) BFI
Countries UK
Aspect ratio 1.33:1
Colour Colour
Subtitles Optional English
Running time 89 mins
DVD region 2
Blu-ray region B
Certificate 12
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